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Historic Jesus

Jul 25, 1996 05:12 AM

Even some herectics recogniced the authorship of pauline epistles.
Gibbon I,LIV,329 talk about Paulicians (century VII), maybe with some 
conection with marcionites, received [the original texts of pauline epistle] and 
accepted  ALL fourteen epistles. Follows the text:

[The gnostics who had distracted the infancy, were opressed by the greatness
and authority of the church. Instead of emulating or surpassing the wealth,
learning and  number of catholics, their obscure remnant was driven from the
capitals of the East and West, and confined to the villages and mountains
along the borders of the Euphrates. Some vestiges of the marcionites may be
detected in the fifth century, but the numerous sects were finally lost in the
odious name of manichaeans, and these herectics, who presumed to reconcile
the doctrines of Zoroaster and Christ were pursued by two religions with
equal and unrelated hatred. Under the grandson of Heraclius, in the 
neighbourhood of Samosata, more famous for the birth of Lucian than for the
title of a syrian kingdom, a reformer arose esteemed by the Paulicians as
the chosen messenger of truth. In his humbling dwelling of Mananalis, 
Constantine entertained a deacon who returned from syrian captivity, and
received the inestimable gift of the New Testament which was already concealed
from the vulgar by the prudence of the greek and perhaps of the gnostic clergy.
These books became the measure of his studies and the rule of his faith, and
catholics, who dispute his interpretation, acknowledge that his text was genuine
and sincere. But he attacked himself with peculiar devoton to the writings 
and character of St Paul...In the gospel (1)and epistles of St Paul his
faithful followers investigated the creed of primitive christianity, and
whatever might be the sucess, a protestant reader (2) will applaud the spirity
of the inquiry. But if the Scriptures of the Paulicians were pure, they
were not perfect. Their founder rejected the two epistles of St Peter, the
apostle of circumcision, whose dispute with their favourite (3), for the 
observance of the law could not easily be forgiven. They ageed with their
gnostic brethen in the universal contempt for the Old Testament, the books
of Moses and the prophets, which have been consacrated by the decrees of the
catholic church]. (1) gospel of Luke, the disciple of St Paul, (2) Gibbon
was protestant, (3) St Paul.


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