Gospel According to the Hebrews in the Bible Encyclopedia

LITERATURE "The Gospel according to the Hebrews" was a work of early Christian literature to which reference is frequently made by the church Fathers in the first five centuries, and of which some twenty or more fragments, preserved in their writings, have come down to us. The book itself has long disappeared. It has, however, been the subject of many critical surmises and discussions in the course of the last century. It has been regarded as the original record of the life of Jesus, the Archimedespoint of the whole gospel history. From it Justin Martyr has been represented as deriving his knowledge of the works and words of Christ, and to it have been referred the gospel quotations found in Justin and other early writers when these deviate in any measure from the text of the canonical gospels. Recent discussions have thrown considerable light upon the problems connected with this Gospel, and a large literature has grown up around it of which the most important works will be noted below. 1. References in Early Church History: Speaking of Papias Eusebius mentions that he has related the story of a woman who was accused of many sins before the Lord, which is contained in the "Gospel according to the Hebrews." This does not prove that Papias was acquainted with this Gospel, for he might have obtained the story, which cannot any longer be regarded as part of John's Gospel, from oral tradition. But there is a certain significance in Eusebius' mentioning it in this connection (Euseb., HE, III, xxxix, 16). Eusebius, speaking of Ignatius and his epp., takes notice of a saying of Jesus which he quotes (Ep. ad Smyrn, iii; compare Lk 24:39), "Take, handle me, and see that I am not an incorporeal spirit." The saying differs materially from the saying in Luke's Gospel, and Eusebius says he has no knowledge whence it had been taken by Ignatius. Jerome, however, twice over attributes the saying to the "Gospel according to the Hebrews," and Origen quotes it from the "Teaching of Peter." Ignatius may have got the saying from oral tradition, and we cannot, therefore, be sure that he knew this Gospel...

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