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the martyrdom of Peter and Paul to the date in question. But the martyrdom of St. Peter as well as of St. Paul is alluded to there; and of the other synchronisms, specified above, nothing is said.
I may be allowed, perhaps, to embrace this opportunity of quoting from the Evangelium Infantiæ, in the Codex Apocryphus, i. 169, a date which also places the Nativity U. C. 750. Caput ii. it is said, Anno autem trecentesimo nono æræ Alexandri edixit Augustus, ut describeretur unusquisque in patria sua. It then proceeds to speak of the Holy Family's repairing to Bethlehem, in obedience to this decree, and of Christ's being born there. The æra Alexandri there referred to, is the æra Seleucidarum: which bears date U. C. 442, B. C. 312. The 309th year of that æra would consequently begin to bear date U. C. 750, B. C. 4. It is observable that the same apocryphal work (see capp. ii. and iii.) placed the Nativity in the evening or night time.
The antiquity of this apocryphal production may entitle its testimony to some degree of weight, upon a mere matter of fact, like the above. There is reason to believe that the Greek original, from which the Arabic version was made, and through that, the Evangelium Infantiæ, such as we have it translated in Fabricius' Codex Apocryphus, was known to Irenæus. See the Prolegomena of Fabricius: i. 128, and sqq.
ST. JOHN-If there is reason to suppose that the evangelist St. John was either of the same age with our Saviour, or not much younger than he, when he was called to be a disciple; the time of the birth of St. John, if that can be probably determined, will so far be an argument for the time of the birth of our Saviour.
That this apostle survived until the beginning of the reign of Trajan, is affirmed by a number of ancient and competent witnesses.
Irenæus twice asserts that St. John continued at Ephesus or in Asia, μέχρι τῶν Τραϊανοῦ χρονῶν*i: and once that he saw the Apocalypse, πρὸς τῷ τέλει τῆς Δομeтiavoû ȧpxûsk. Eusebius, Chronicon Armeno-Latinum, repeats the former statement after Irenæus, ad annum Trajani 1; but Jerome, in Chronico, ad annum Trajani iii: and both he and Jerome place the banishment of St. John, and the date of his Apocalypse, in the thirteenth or fourteenth of Domitian. Clemens Alexandrinus certainly bore a similar testimony; and by Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History he is said to have defined the precise year of Trajan, in his tractate, Quisnam dives salvetur? where however it does not occur; nor does Eusebius repeat it after him. There is still extant, in the works of Clement, a remarkable story concerning St. John, the authenticity of which I see no reason to question; and which Clement ushers in with the following words: ἄκουσον μῦθον, οὐ μῦθον ἀλλὰ ὄντα λόγον, περὶ Ἰωάννου τοῦ ἀποστόλου παραδεδομένον καὶ μνήμῃ πεφυλαγμένονm. It is easy to collect from this narrative, that the fact re
* Julius Pollux, Chronicon, 204, has a statement to this effect: ἕως ἑβδόμου ἔτους Τραϊανοῦ περιἣν ὁ μακάριος Ιωάννης: which is so connected with what immediately precedes in the context, as to seem to make part with that of a quotation from Irenæus. It is doubtful, how
ever, whether Irenæus affirmed this particular fact. Certainly it does not occur in his extant remains. The Paschal Chronicon, as we shall see by and by, has the same date for the death of St. John and probably both that and Pollux took it from a common authority.
k Lib. v. xxx. 449. l. 20.
i Lib. ii. xxxix. 161. 1. 26: iii. iii. 205. l. 1. Cf. Eusebius, iii. 18. 88. D. 1 E. H. iii. 23. 91. D. Cf. Syncellus, i. 653. l. 6. for both these testimonies. m Operum ii. 958. Quis dives salvetur? xlii. Cf. Eusebius, iii. 23. 91. &c. and Chrysostom, i. 30. E. 31. A. Ad Theodorum Lapsum, i. 16.
corded could not have happened until some years at least, after St. John's return from banishment; (and that is supposed to be after the death of the tyrant Domitian;) and that St. John was then a very old man*.
Tertullian has not mentioned the time of St. John's return from banishment, or of his death; though he is the most ancient authority who asserts the fact of his being thrown into a caldron of boiling oil, before he was banished": a statement also made by Jerome, but whether from Tertullian, does not appear o †.
Origen simply attests that St. John was condemned by the Roman emperor to banishment at Patmos, and saw the Apocalypse while he was there.
The Acta of Timothy, the first bishop of Ephesus, of which Photius has preserved an abstract, place the martyrdom of Timothy towards the end of the reign of Domitian; the recall of St. John from banishment, under Nerva; and his death at Ephesus, in the reign of Trajan. Polycrates, bishop of Ephesus, bears abundant testimony to this latter fact; and that St. John
* His great age is likewise implied in the characteristic anecdote, related of him by Jerome, iv. Pars i. 314. ad medium, in Gal. vi.: Beatus Johannes Evangelista,' quum Ephesi moraretur usque ad ultimam senectutem; et vix inter discipulorum manus ad Ecclesiam deferretur, nec posset in plura vocem verba contexere, nihil aliud per singu. las solebat proferre collectas, nisi
hoc, Filioli, diligite alterutrum.
† Yet, Operum v. 16. Apologeticus, 5. the recall of St. John is placed by Tertullian virtually under the reign of Domitian. After speaking of Nero's persecution as the first of all-he continues, Tentaverat et Domitianus, portio Neronis de crudelitate, sed qua et homo, facile coeptum repressit, restitutis etiam quos relegaverat.
n Operum ii. 46. De Præscriptionibus Hæreticorum, 36.
o Operum iv.
Pars i. 92. ad calcem in Matt. xx. Cf. however Pars ii. Adversus Jovinianum i.
169. ad principium, which quotes Tertullian for the fact. A. In Matt. tom. xvi. 6. q Codex 254. p. 468.
P Operum iii. 720.
both died and was buried at Ephesus: which is sufficient to discredit the tradition, however ancient, that he never died, but was translated like Enoch and Elijah.
Jerome, De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis places his banishment in the fourteenth of Domitian; his return, under Nerva; and his death at Ephesus, sixty-eight years after the Passion. As Jerome's date for the Passion is U. C. 784, this places the death of St. John, U. C. 852, in the second of Trajan. The same dates appear in his Chronicon. In another passage also, which has been produced at length already", he mentions an opinion which included the half of a prophetical week, that is thirty-five years, between the commencement of the Jewish war under Nero, and the death of St. John, in the time of Trajan. From U. C. 819, thirty-five years would bring us to U. C. 854, in the fourth of Trajan.
Augustin reckons it 320 years to his own time, since the composition of that one of St. John's Epistles, which contained the declaration, it is the last time*: and 420 years to the same time from the birth of Christ. On this principle, he supposed the epistle to have been written one hundred years after the birth of Christ that is, as his date for the Nativity is U. C. 752, he dates the composition of the epistle, U. C. 852, and therefore considered St. John to be still living in the second of Trajan. He adds; Huc accedit, quia inspecta diligenter ecclesiastica historia, reperitur Johannes apostolus longe ante fuisse defunctus, quam quinque millia quingenti anni a generis humani exordio complerentur.
Theophylact's date for the Gospel of St. John, thirtys Cap. ix. Operum iv.
r Eusebius, E. H. iii. 31. 102. D.: v. 24. 191. C. Pars ii. 105. Cf. Ibid. 168. ad calcem, Adversus Jovinianum i. 1114. in Dan. ix. u Supra page 617. x 1 John ii. 18. 747. G. Epistolæ, 199. 18: 748. E. F. Ibid. 20.
t Operum iii. y Operum ii.
two years after the Ascension, U. C. 784, would place its composition, U. C. 816: but if referred to the date of the destruction of Jerusalem, U. C. 823, it would place it U.C. 855, in the fifth of Trajan. Suidas, under the article 'Iwávvns, supposes the composition of the Gospel after his return from Patmos; when he was one hundred years old; and his death at one hundred and twenty*. The Paschal Chronicon places the banishment under Domitian; the recall in the first of Nerva; and the death in the seventh of Trajan, seventy-two years after the Ascension; when St. John was one hundred years and seven months old". As this Chronicon dates the Ascension U. C. 785, these two notes of time meet together in U. C. 857. Hippolytus, περὶ τῶν ιβʹ ἀποστόλων, makes St. John one hundred and six years old at his death. A fragment of Hippolytus the youngerb makes him one hundred and ten; though it places his death under Domitian.
To judge, therefore, from all these testimonies, it seems the most probable opinion that St. John survived until the second or third of Trajan at least; and that he was one hundred years old, and upwards, at the time of his death. In this case, he must have been born U.C. 751, or 752, and he would be a year or two younger
* So likewise the treatise ascribed to Chrysostom, (Operum vii. Spuria, 231. C. De S. Joanne Apostolo,) and Dorotheus, bishop of Tyre, (Theophylact, Operum i. 500,) from the former of which the passage in Suidas seems to have been copied. Dorotheus
places the banishment to Patmos in the reign of Trajan-though he mentions the opinion also which placed it under Domitian. The banishment Suidas (Δομετιαvòs) places under Domitian, the recall under Nerva: cf. also in Νέρβας.
z i. 467. 1. 20-470. 1. 19. Cf. however, 461. 1. 6. where he is supposed to have spent nine years in Ephesus, before his banishment, fifteen in Patmos, and twenty-six at Ephesus after his return; which is dated U. C. 822, in the first of Vespasian. Hence his death would be U. C. 848, in the fourteenth of Domitian; at the time when other authorities suppose him to have been banished. a Operum i. Appendix, p. 41. e Cedreno.
b Ibid. 49.