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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Drawn from the Apocryphal Gospels


_To the proofs that the first Christians did not believe in endless hell._

From the second to the fourth centuries many Apocryphal Gospels had been written. Some of them have been transmitted down to us, at least their fragments; and others have not been preserved except their titles.

Among those gospels are: 1st, the Gospel according to the Hebrews; 2d, according to the Nazareans; 3d, according to the Twelve Apostles; 4th, according to St. Peter. It is supposed that these four Gospels were that of Matthew, altered by the Hebrews. This circumstance has led the critics to believe, that the Hebrew or Syriac text of Matthew had been abandoned, lest it might be altered; and that the Greek version had been preserved.

5th, The Gospel according to the Egyptians; 6th, that of the birth of the virgin Mary: we have read it in Latin; 7th, the Protogospel of James, written in Greek and in Latin; 8th, the Gospel of the Infancy, in Greek and in Arabic; 9th, that of St. Thomas; 10th, the Gospel of Nicodemus, in Latin; 11th, the Gospel Eternal; 12th, that of Andrew; 13th, that of Bartholomew; 14th, that of Apelles; 15th, that of Basilides; 16th, that of Cerinthus; 17th, that of the Ebionites--perhaps it was the same as that of the Hebrews; 18th, that of Tatian; 19th, that of Eve; 20th, that of the Gnostics; 21st, that of Marcion; 22d, that of St.

Paul; 23d, the Gospel of the small and great interrogations of Mary; 24th, that of the birth of Jesus: probably the same as the Protogospel of James; 25th, that of John, or of the death of the virgin Mary; 26th, that of Matthias; 27th, that of Perfection; 28th, that of the Simonians; 29th, that of the Syrians; 30th, that of the Encratites: probably the same as that of Tatian; 31st, the Gospel of Thadeus, or of Jude; 32d, that of Valentine; 33d, that of Life, or of the Living God; 34th, that of Philip; 35th, that of Barnabeus; 36th, that of James, the major; 37th, that of Judas; 38th, of the Truth: probably the same as that of Valentine; 39th, the Gospels of Leucius, of Seleucus, of Lucianus, and of Hesychius.

For a more extensive information concerning the Apocryphal Gospels, we refer the reader to the Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti Collectus, Castigatus, published at Hamburg, in 3 vols. octavo, in 1719. The author was John Albert Fabricius, one of the most learned antiquarians of the 17th century.

We had the opportunity of reading, in the rich library of the theological school of Brou, France, several of these Apocryphal Gospels, that of the birth of the virgin Mary, the Protogospel of James; that of the death of the virgin Mary, and that of the Twelve Apostles; but we do not recollect to have seen in these gospels anything, in regard to endless hell, more positive than what is found in the Gospel concerning the ruin of Jerusalem.

Of course this proof, drawn from the Apocryphal Gospels, has not the same weight as if it was drawn from authentical authors, (it is for this reason that we have not inserted it in the body of proofs,) however as it is certain that they have been written from the second to the fourth centuries, they at least show that their authors, and the many Christians who used them, did not believe in endless hell.


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