XI. EUSEBIUS, Hist. Eccles. iii. 3.
The Canonical Epistles
Πέτρου μὲν οὖν ἐπιστολὴ μία, ἡ λεγομένη αὐτοῦ προτέρα, ἀνωμολόγηται, ταύτῃ δὲ καὶ οἱ πάλαι πρεσβύτεροι ὡς ἀναμφιλέκτῳ ἐν τοῖς σφῶν αὐτῶν κατακέχρηνται συγγράμμασιν· τὴν δὲ φερομένην δευτέραν οὐκ ἐνδιάθηκον μὲν εἶναι παρειλήφαμεν, ὅμως δὲ πολλοῖς χρήσιμος φανεῖσα, μετὰ τῶν ἄλλων ἐσπουδάσθη γραφῶν. τό γε μὴν τῶν ἐπικεκλημένων αὐτοῦ Πράξεων καὶ τὸ κατ᾿ αὐτὸν ὠνομασμένον εὐαγγέλιον τό τε λεγόμενον αὐτοῦ Κήρυγμα καὶ τὴν καλουμένην Ἀποκάλυψιν οὐδ᾿ ὅλως ἐν καθολικοῖς ἴσμεν παραδεδομένα, ὅτι μήτε ἀρχαίων μήτε μὴν καθ᾿ ἡμᾶς τις ἐκκλησιαστικὸς συγγραφεὺς ταῖς ἐξ αὐτῶν συνεχρήσατο μαρτυρίαις. προϊούσης δὲ τῆς ἱστορίας προύργου ποιήσομαι σὺν ταῖς διαδοχαῖς ὑποσημήνασθαι τίνες τῶν κατὰ χρόνους ἐκκλησιαστικῶν συγγραφέων ὁποίαις κέχρηνται τῶν ἀντιλεγομένων, τίνα τε περὶ τῶν ἐνδιαθήκων καὶ ὁμολογουμένων γραφῶν καὶ ὅσα περὶ τῶν μὴ τοιούτων αὐτοῖς εἴρηται. ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν ὀνομαζόμενα Πέτρου, ὧν μόνην μίαν γνησίαν ἔγνων ἐπιστολὴν καὶ παρὰ τοῖς πάλαι πρεσβυτέροις ὁμολογουμένην, τοσαῦτα· τοῦ δὲ Παύλου πρόδηλοι καὶ σαφεῖς αἱ δεκατέσσαρες· ὅτι γε μήν τινες ἠθετήκασι τὴν πρὸς Ἑβραίους, πρὸς τῆς Ῥωμαίων ἐκκλησίας ὡς μὴ Παύλου οὖσαν αὐτὴν ἀντιλέγεσθαι φήσαντες, οὐ δίκαιον ἀγνοεῖν· καὶ τὰ περὶ ταύτης δὲ τοῖς πρὸ ἡμῶν εἰρημένα κατὰ καιρὸν παραθήσομαι. οὐδὲ μὴν τὰς λεγομένας αὐτοῦ Πράξεις ἐν ἀναμφιλέκτοις παρείληφα. ἐπεὶ δ᾿ ὁ αὐτὸς ἀπόστολος ἐν ταῖς ἐπὶ τέλει προσρήσεσιν τῆς πρὸς Ῥωμαίους μνήμην πεποίηται μετὰ ἄλλων καὶ Ἑρμᾶ, οὗ φασιν ὑπάρχειν τὸ τοῦ Ποιμένος βιβλίον, ἰστέον ὡς καὶ τοῦτο πρὸς μέν τινων ἀντιλέλεκται δι᾿ οὓς οὐκ ἂν ἐν ὁμολογουμένοις τεθείη, ὑφ᾿ ἑτέρων δὲ ἀναγκαιότατον οἷς μάλιστα δεῖ στοιχειώσεως εἰσαγωγικῆς, κέκριται· ὅθεν ἤδη καὶ ἐν ἐκκλησίαις ἴσμεν αὐτὸ δεδημοσιευμένον, καὶ τῶν παλαιτάτων δὲ συγγραφέων κεχρημένους τινὰς αὐτῷ κατείληφα. ταῦτα εἰς παράστασιν τῶν τε ἀναντιρρήτων καὶ τῶν μὴ παρὰ πᾶσιν ὁμολογουμένων θείων γραμμάτων εἰρήσθω.
Of Peter then one Epistle, his so-called Former, is fully acknowledged; and of this even the ancient elders have made constant use in their writings as undisputed. But as for the current Second Epistle, we have understood that it is not canonical: yet as it seemed useful to many, it was studied along with the other writings. The Acts, however, which bear his name, and the Gospel inscribed 'according to Peter,' and his so-called Preaching and so-called Apocalypse we know have not been handed down at all among canonical books, because no ecclesiastical writer, either of the ancients or of our own time, ever made general use of testimonies from them. But, as my history goes on, I shall do my diligence to signify along with the successions, who of the ecclesiastical writers from time to time used disputed books, and which of them they used, and also what they have said concerning the canonical and acknowledged books, and all that they have said concerning those that are not such. But so many are the writings that bear the name of Peter; and of them I recognize one single Epistle as genuine and acknowledged by the ancient elders. Of Paul the fourteen are manifest and clear. It is not indeed right to ignore the fact that some have rejected that to the Hebrews, saying that it is disputed by the Roman Church as not being Paul's; but I will set out at suitable opportunities what has been said by our predecessors concerning this Epistle too. The so-called Acts however of Paul I have not understood to be among the undisputed books. But whereas the same Apostle in the final salutations of the Epistle to the Romans mentions among others Hermas, whose work the so-called Shepherd is said to be, it ought to be known that this too has been disputed by some, and on their account must not be set down among the acknowledged books, but by others it has been judged indispensable for those who specially need elementary instruction. Hence, as we know, it has actually been read in public in churches, and I have found some even of the oldest writers using it. Let this serve to show those of the divine writings which are undisputed, and those which are not acknowledged by all.
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