Trusting the Church Fathers

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wattie

Senior Member
Feb 24, 2009
1,956
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#41
The primitive or apostolic church was even younger than the so called fathers but they were perfect in understanding so we must look upon the church of the fathers as having fallen away and backslidden. all the seeds which developed into Roman Catholicism were sown by so called fathers.
Problems that were establishing..

One bishop over multiple congregations

Infant baptism

Over emphasis on rituals over faith
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,506
9,437
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#42
...all the seeds which developed into Roman Catholicism were sown by so called fathers
One could call them the Fathers of the Catholic and Orthodox churches. They had many good things in their writings but also many errors, which should have been corrected, but were ignored.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
20,963
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#43
Much of the new testament is written in Greek, but written by men who knew and thought of scripture as they had learned to think of it through the scrolls in Hebrew. Hebrew meaning of words is very important to understanding scripture. I wonder why this fact is spoken of as these posts speak of it?

A large portion of the hew testament either quotes or refers to the old testament that was mainly written in Hebrew. How do these anti Hebrew people thing God could get these authors to know these scriptures if they weren't able to read them?
They could read the Septuagint, which is a Greek translation of the Hebrew books of the OT. It was in circulation by the time of Jesus.
 

Gideon300

Well-known member
Mar 18, 2021
3,006
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#44
It's come to my attention that some find the Church Fathers writings to not be credible sources to rely upon. Grant it, there are possible reasons to always question, look into deeper, and to proceed with caution from what we read concerning the Church Fathers. But for the most part, I personally believe they give us a deeper understanding of many things we read from our Bible. Look at the Didache, this is not connected to the Bible, but there are several written notations that help clarify Scripture when Scripture itself seems vague. I look at the Didache in the same light as I do the Church Fathers. And on one particular issue specifically, I believe they are correct even if [Modern Scholars] try to deny their claims. That issue is of course, "Was the Book of Matthew first written in the Aramaic/Hebrew Language first before it was later translated into the Greek?"

Here are some quotes that I believe are factual and answer this question:

Quotes by Church Fathers
Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed. Who translated it after that in Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Moreover, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected. I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Beroea to copy it.
— Jerome: De viris inlustribus (On Illustrious Men), chapter III.[7]


He (Shaul) being a Hebrew wrote in Hebrew, that is, his own tongue and most fluently; while things which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek.
— Jerome, 382 CE, On Illustrious Men, Book V


Matthew also issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect.
— Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:1 [c.175-185 A.D.]


First to be written was by Matthew, who was once a tax collector but later an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it in Hebrew for Jewish believers.
— Origen circa 210 CE, quoted by Eusebius, Church History, Book 6, Chapter 25, Section 4[8][9]


Didache
This version of the Lord’s Prayer is different from the one found in the Canonical Gospels. For this reason, some believe it is ‘possibly’ from the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew . It is interesting to compare this fragment with GHeb-47, which confirms that this Lord’s Prayer was found in the Gospel of the Hebrews.


Ignatius
This fragment from Ignatius has caused much controversy among scholars because the term “bodiless demon” is used. We know that this excerpt is not from the Canonical Gospels, nor would this term be used in Hebrew. Thus, some have argued that this fragment was written in Syriac but with Hebrew letters.

Jerome affirms “bodiless demon” is in the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Polycarp
Born some thirty years after the crucifixion, Polycarp is an important link to the Apostolic Age. A strong defender of Orthodoxy, he seems to have been aware of the Gospel of the Hebrews written by Matthew.


Justin
The Church Fathers explain that the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was sometimes referred to as the Gospel of the Apostles. Justin cites as his authority the “Apostles of our Christ” and the “Gospel of the Apostles.” (See GHeb-55) Also, Jesus being ‘begotten’ at His baptism is unique to the Hebrew Gospel.


Irenaeus
GHeb-11 Here Irenaeus states that the Ebionite community uses only the Gospel of Matthew! Other Church Fathers confirm what he writes, but say the Ebionites only use the Gospel of the Hebrews, making it ‘probable’ that the Gospel of the Hebrews was written by Matthew. It is highly unlikely than he is referring to the Canonical Matthean Gospel (see Epiphanius and Eusebius).

GHeb-12 Irenaeus states that Matthew wrote his Gospel for the Hebrews in their own dialect. Biblical scholars agree that Irenaeus cannot be referring to the Canonical Matthean Gospel, which has been shown to be composed in Greek by a person other than Matthew. This raises the ‘probability’ that Irenaeus is referring to the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Pantaenus
GHeb-14 This excerpt explains why those who were associated with the school of Alexandria had such extensive knowledge of the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Tertullian
GHeb-15 Scholars say that this quote is from the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.


Hegesippus
A contemporary of Irenaeus, Hegesippus was a master of Syriac and Hebrew. He was familiar with Jewish oral tradition as well as Hebrew Christianity, and, more particularly, the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.

GHeb-16 This fragment directly cites the Gospel of the Hebrews.


Clement of Alexandria
GHeb-17 and 18 and 19

These refer to the Gospel of the Hebrews. From Clements’s text it would appear that these teachings are familiar to Clements’s readers. ‘Seeking until one finds’ and ‘seeing God in your brother’ are themes developed in the Canonical New Testament. Also, it is clear that the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew .


Epiphanius
GHeb-31 Epiphanius was probably the first to write of the Hebrew Christian community called the Nazarenes. They had a copy of the Gospel of the Hebrews, written by “Matthew quite complete in Hebrew


Didymus
Didymus was a disciple of Origen. He was also the Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Therefore, he had access to the scholarly works collected by his predecessors, Pantaenus, Clement and Origen. Thus he was familiar with and had access to the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.




I believe there are more than enough sources to believe the Book of Matthew was originally written in the Hebrew/Aramaic Language.


I am sure this Issue and other issues with the Church Fathers writings are not new, but i would be interested in how others view this:
What does it matter? Somehow the church generally has managed to get by without a Hebrew version of Matthew, if indeed there was one.

Matthew was a tax collector and therefore dealt with Rome. Greek was commonly used by business people. Jesus said, "It is finished" from the cross. The Greek word is "tedeleski". This word was written on accounts that were paid in full. I would be surprised if Matthew never wrote that word on people's tax bills.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
7,069
2,277
113
#45
What does it matter? Somehow the church generally has managed to get by without a Hebrew version of Matthew, if indeed there was one.

Matthew was a tax collector and therefore dealt with Rome. Greek was commonly used by business people. Jesus said, "It is finished" from the cross. The Greek word is "tedeleski". This word was written on accounts that were paid in full. I would be surprised if Matthew never wrote that word on people's tax bills.
It does matter that the church today has the attitude toward the Hebrew language that is expressed here. In order to understand the word you need to understand the culture and ways of the people told of in that word. By having such a negative attitude toward that language, they are simply asking to misunderstand scripture. Thank heavens, there are men who study Hebrew in its many different forms in order to better understand scripture.

Because much was written in Greek, if the church had the attitude toward that language they have toward Hebrew, it would result in the same misunderstandings refusing to look at the Hebrew is having.
 

Evmur

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2021
2,887
1,593
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London
#46
Problems that were establishing..

One bishop over multiple congregations

Infant baptism

Over emphasis on rituals over faith
Ignatias is the true founder of Episcopalianism and Catholicism, he taught that the bishop must be received and obeyed as though they were Christ in person. Thus the bishops usurped the place of Christ as Head of the church.

The church swerved.
 

Evmur

Well-known member
Feb 28, 2021
2,887
1,593
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London
#47
Not the immediate Church Fathers like Papias and Polycarp, who was a direct Disciple to the Apostle John. The RCC really did not take over until later 2nd/3rd Centuries.
We have little or none of what they wrote
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
3,171
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#48
If you don't know of the amount of knowledge of Hebrew scrolls that is seen in Matthews gospel, then you haven't read that gospel.
I know there are a lot of quotes from the Hebrew scrolls in many of the New Testament books. Acts 4:13 says:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus."

The apostles weren't educated in the scriptures (Paul was the exception). I don't know why Matthew would be any different. They acquired their knowledge from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
 
Jun 9, 2021
1,893
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#49
What does it matter? Somehow the church generally has managed to get by without a Hebrew version of Matthew, if indeed there was one.

Matthew was a tax collector and therefore dealt with Rome. Greek was commonly used by business people. Jesus said, "It is finished" from the cross. The Greek word is "tedeleski". This word was written on accounts that were paid in full. I would be surprised if Matthew never wrote that word on people's tax bills.
I don't really know the significance of this Version at all, other than Jerome claimed it was at one time in a Library and that he actually was able to hold the manuscript himself and do quick references with it to the Greek Version.
 
Jun 9, 2021
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#50
We have little or none of what they wrote
Agreed!
What we do have from Papias and Polycarp, they claim came from the Apostle John himself.
 
Jun 9, 2021
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#51
I know there are a lot of quotes from the Hebrew scrolls in many of the New Testament books. Acts 4:13 says:

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus."

The apostles weren't educated in the scriptures (Paul was the exception). I don't know why Matthew would be any different. They acquired their knowledge from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

If we take the 4 Gospels and compare them, only 3 of 4 match. The Gospel of John is not even close to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Kind of like 4 preachers fasting and praying in the same house but when they each go to their own Church, not all 4 will be preaching the same message that day. Who knows why Matthew wrote it in Hebrew, but Papias and Polycarp, Disciples of the Apostle John claim he did around 44 A.D.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
18,506
9,437
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#53
What we do have from Papias and Polycarp, they claim came from the Apostle John himself.
If indeed Matthew had written his Gospel in Hebrew, then just like every other NT book (in Greek), we would have had manuscripts (copied and recopied in Hebrew) at least from the 2nd to 4th centuries. The fact that there are no such copies confirms that Matthew wrote in Greek, regardless of what anyone says. In fact it would have been inconsistent for one evangelist to be writing in Hebrew and all the others writing in Greek. And then someone translating Hebrew into Greek.

Bearing in mind that Greek was not even their native language, it should be clear that the divine revelation of all the Gospels was in Greek. This is contrary to all the modernistic nonsense that one copied from the other or relied on oral traditions etc. Modernists do not believe in divine revelation.
 
Jun 9, 2021
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#54
If indeed Matthew had written his Gospel in Hebrew, then just like every other NT book (in Greek), we would have had manuscripts (copied and recopied in Hebrew) at least from the 2nd to 4th centuries. The fact that there are no such copies confirms that Matthew wrote in Greek, regardless of what anyone says. In fact it would have been inconsistent for one evangelist to be writing in Hebrew and all the others writing in Greek. And then someone translating Hebrew into Greek.

Bearing in mind that Greek was not even their native language, it should be clear that the divine revelation of all the Gospels was in Greek. This is contrary to all the modernistic nonsense that one copied from the other or relied on oral traditions etc. Modernists do not believe in divine revelation.
Let's entertain this idea for a moment from the writings of Jerome: library at Caesarea. Jerome claims this book of Matthew written in the Hebrew Language was located at the library at Caesarea during Jerome's lifetime and that Jerome had seen it first hand.

What happened to the library at Caesarea?

It was noted in the 6th century that it probably did not long survive the capture of Caesarea by the Saracens in 638, and this claim is repeated, without citation, in a modern reference: the “large library survived at Caesarea until destroyed by the Arabs in the 7th cent.”[9]

So, let's say the Hebrew written Version of Matthew was factually stored in the library at Caesarea. But as history explains, in the 7th Century when the Arabs attacked Israel, they destroyed the library at Caesarea along with the others artifacts we know of. That would explain why there is no copy for us to observe. The Arabs would have destroyed anything Hebrew because they as we know from our own Bibles, are not God's Chosen.
 
Jun 9, 2021
1,893
424
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#55
Let's entertain this idea for a moment from the writings of Jerome: library at Caesarea. Jerome claims this book of Matthew written in the Hebrew Language was located at the library at Caesarea during Jerome's lifetime and that Jerome had seen it first hand.

What happened to the library at Caesarea?

It was noted in the 6th century that it probably did not long survive the capture of Caesarea by the Saracens in 638, and this claim is repeated, without citation, in a modern reference: the “large library survived at Caesarea until destroyed by the Arabs in the 7th cent.”[9]

So, let's say the Hebrew written Version of Matthew was factually stored in the library at Caesarea. But as history explains, in the 7th Century when the Arabs attacked Israel, they destroyed the library at Caesarea along with the others artifacts we know of. That would explain why there is no copy for us to observe. The Arabs would have destroyed anything Hebrew because they as we know from our own Bibles, are not God's Chosen.

So then, if this is true about the Hebrew Version of the Gospel of Matthew being stored at the library at Caesarea, which in the 7th Century was factually and historically accounted to be destroyed by Arabs, that would make this list 100% reliable and true:

Quotes by Church Fathers
Matthew, who is also Levi, and who from a publican came to be an apostle, first of all composed a Gospel of Christ in Judaea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed. Who translated it after that in Greek is not sufficiently ascertained. Moreover, the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea, which the martyr Pamphilus so diligently collected. I also was allowed by the Nazarenes who use this volume in the Syrian city of Beroea to copy it.
— Jerome: De viris inlustribus (On Illustrious Men), chapter III.[7]


He (Shaul) being a Hebrew wrote in Hebrew, that is, his own tongue and most fluently; while things which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek.
— Jerome, 382 CE, On Illustrious Men, Book V


Matthew also issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect.
— Irenaeus, Against Heresies 3:1 [c.175-185 A.D.]


First to be written was by Matthew, who was once a tax collector but later an apostle of Jesus Christ, who published it in Hebrew for Jewish believers.
— Origen circa 210 CE, quoted by Eusebius, Church History, Book 6, Chapter 25, Section 4[8][9]


Didache
This version of the Lord’s Prayer is different from the one found in the Canonical Gospels. For this reason, some believe it is ‘possibly’ from the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew . It is interesting to compare this fragment with GHeb-47, which confirms that this Lord’s Prayer was found in the Gospel of the Hebrews.


Ignatius
This fragment from Ignatius has caused much controversy among scholars because the term “bodiless demon” is used. We know that this excerpt is not from the Canonical Gospels, nor would this term be used in Hebrew. Thus, some have argued that this fragment was written in Syriac but with Hebrew letters.

Jerome affirms “bodiless demon” is in the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Polycarp
Born some thirty years after the crucifixion, Polycarp is an important link to the Apostolic Age. A strong defender of Orthodoxy, he seems to have been aware of the Gospel of the Hebrews written by Matthew.


Justin
The Church Fathers explain that the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew was sometimes referred to as the Gospel of the Apostles. Justin cites as his authority the “Apostles of our Christ” and the “Gospel of the Apostles.” (See GHeb-55) Also, Jesus being ‘begotten’ at His baptism is unique to the Hebrew Gospel.


Irenaeus
GHeb-11 Here Irenaeus states that the Ebionite community uses only the Gospel of Matthew! Other Church Fathers confirm what he writes, but say the Ebionites only use the Gospel of the Hebrews, making it ‘probable’ that the Gospel of the Hebrews was written by Matthew. It is highly unlikely than he is referring to the Canonical Matthean Gospel (see Epiphanius and Eusebius).

GHeb-12 Irenaeus states that Matthew wrote his Gospel for the Hebrews in their own dialect. Biblical scholars agree that Irenaeus cannot be referring to the Canonical Matthean Gospel, which has been shown to be composed in Greek by a person other than Matthew. This raises the ‘probability’ that Irenaeus is referring to the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Pantaenus
GHeb-14 This excerpt explains why those who were associated with the school of Alexandria had such extensive knowledge of the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew


Tertullian
GHeb-15 Scholars say that this quote is from the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.


Hegesippus
A contemporary of Irenaeus, Hegesippus was a master of Syriac and Hebrew. He was familiar with Jewish oral tradition as well as Hebrew Christianity, and, more particularly, the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.

GHeb-16 This fragment directly cites the Gospel of the Hebrews.


Clement of Alexandria
GHeb-17 and 18 and 19

These refer to the Gospel of the Hebrews. From Clements’s text it would appear that these teachings are familiar to Clements’s readers. ‘Seeking until one finds’ and ‘seeing God in your brother’ are themes developed in the Canonical New Testament. Also, it is clear that the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew .


Epiphanius
GHeb-31 Epiphanius was probably the first to write of the Hebrew Christian community called the Nazarenes. They had a copy of the Gospel of the Hebrews, written by “Matthew quite complete in Hebrew


Didymus
Didymus was a disciple of Origen. He was also the Head of the Catechetical School of Alexandria. Therefore, he had access to the scholarly works collected by his predecessors, Pantaenus, Clement and Origen. Thus he was familiar with and had access to the Authentic Hebrew Gospel of Matthew.
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
3,171
1,159
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#56
AandW, when do you propose the Hebrew version would have been written?

When is the earliest record from one of the "fathers," stating its existence?

Is it possible the Hebrew version was actually written by someone other than Matthew, at a later date?
 
Jun 9, 2021
1,893
424
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#57
AandW, when do you propose the Hebrew version would have been written?

When is the earliest record from one of the "fathers," stating its existence?

Is it possible the Hebrew version was actually written by someone other than Matthew, at a later date?
Papias claims the Apostle John said around 41-44 A.D. about the time Matthew himself [41-44 AD prior to leaving Judaea due to the persecution by Herod Agrippa].

That's 30 years before the Greek Matthew enters the scene.
 

ResidentAlien

Well-known member
Apr 21, 2021
3,171
1,159
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#58
Papias claims the Apostle John said around 41-44 A.D. about the time Matthew himself [41-44 AD prior to leaving Judaea due to the persecution by Herod Agrippa].

That's 30 years before the Greek Matthew enters the scene.
Did Papias himself say this? Is it a direct quote from his work Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord? As I understand it, this work hasn't survived and is only known by excerpts by later authors.

Besides, this work by Papias is dated to 95-110.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
7,069
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#59
The apostles weren't educated in the scriptures (Paul was the exception). I don't know why Matthew would be any different. They acquired their knowledge from Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
Paul was not the exception. An apostle is one who is educated by Christ directly, and Paul states that he was educated by Christ directly those three years he spent in Egypt. Scripture calls him an apostle. Besides, he was an honored graduate of the most prestigious school for rabbis. His knowledge of the OT scripture of that time was superior.
 

TheLearner

Well-known member
Jan 14, 2019
6,113
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#60
I don't really know the significance of this Version at all, other than Jerome claimed it was at one time in a Library and that he actually was able to hold the manuscript himself and do quick references with it to the Greek Version.
Primary source of your claim is what? produce it. with link