Early Church Fathers
IV.-From the Books of the Hypotyposes.
"Because of the angels." By the angels he means righteous and virtuous men. Let her be veiled then, that she may not lead them to stumble into fornication. For the real angels in heaven see her though veiled.
"And if we have known Christ after the flesh." As "after the flesh" in our case is being in the midst of sins, and being out of them is "not after the flesh; "so also" after the flesh" in the case of Christ was His subjection to natural affections, and His not being subject to them is to be "not after the flesh." But, he says, as He was released, so also are we.
"Our heart is enlarged," to teach you all things. But ye are straitened in your own bowels, that is, in love to God, in which ye ought to love me.
"And they that are Christ's [have crucified] the flesh." And why mention one aspect of virtue after another? For there are some who have crucified themselves as far as the passions are concerned, and the passions as far as respects themselves. According to this interpretation the "and" is not superfluous. "And they that are Christ's"-that is, striving after Him-"have crucified their own flesh."
Yes, truly, the apostles were baptised, as Clement the Stromatist relates in the fifth book of the Hypotyposes. For, in explaining the apostolic statement, "I thank God that I baptised none of you," he says, Christ is said to have baptised Peter alone, and Peter Andrew, and Andrew John, and they James and the rest.1
Now Clement, writing in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes, makes this statement. For he says that Peter and James and John, after the Saviour's ascension, though pre-eminently honoured by the Lord, did not contend for glory, but made James the Just, bishop of Jerusalem.
So, then, through the visit of the divine word to them, the power of Simon was extinguished, and immediately was destroyed along with the man himself. And such a ray of godliness shone forth on the minds of Peter's hearers, that they were not satisfied with the once hearing or with the unwritten teaching of the divine proclamation, but with all manner of entreaties importuned Mark, to whom the Gospel is ascribed, he being the companion of Peter, that he would leave in writing a record of the teaching which had been delivered to them verbally; and did not let the man alone till they prevailed upon him; and so to them we owe the Scripture called the "Gospel by Mark." On learning what had been done, through the revelation of the Spirit, it is said that the apostle was delighted with the enthusiasm of the men, and sanctioned the composition for reading in the Churches. Clemens gives the narrative in the sixth book of the Hypotyposes.
Then, also, as the divine Scripture says, Herod, on the execution of James, seeing that what was done pleased the Jews, laid hands also on Peter; and having put him in chains, would have presently put him to death, had not an angel in a divine vision appeared to him by night, and wondrously releasing him from his bonds, sent him away to the ministry of preaching.
And in the Hypotyposes, in a word, he has made abbreviated narratives of the whole testamentary Scripture; and has not passed over the disputed books,-I mean Jude and the rest of the Catholic Epistles and Barnabas, and what is called the Revelation of Peter. And he says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is Paul's, and was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke, having carefully translated it, gave it to the Greeks, and hence the same colouring in the expression is discoverable in this Epistle and the Acts; and that the name "Paul an Apostle" was very properly not pre-fixed, for, he says, that writing to the Hebrews, who were prejudiced against him and suspected, he with great wisdom did not repel them in the beginning by putting down his name.
1 Timothy 2:6. "In his times; "that is, when men were in a condition of fitness for faith.
1 Timothy 3:16. "Was seen of angels." O mystery! The angels saw Christ while He was with us, not having seen Him before. Not as by men.
1 Timothy 5:8. "And especially those of his own house." He provides for his own and those of his own house, who not only provides for his relatives, but also for himself, by extirpating the passions.
1 Timothy 5:10. "If she have washed the feet of saints; "that is, if she has performed without shame the meanest offices for the saints.
1 Timothy 5:21. "Without prejudice; "2 that is, without falling under the doom and punishment of disobedience through making any false step.
1 Timothy 6:13. "Who witnessed before Pontius Pilate." For He testified by what he did that He was Christ the Son of God.
2 Timothy 2:2. "By many witnesses; "3 that is, the law and the prophets. For these the apostle made witnesses of his own preaching.
To James the Just, and John and Peter, the Lord after His resurrection imparted knowledge (th/n gnw=sin.) These imparted it to the rest of the apostles, and the rest of the apostles to the Seventy, of whom Barnabas was one.
And of this James, Clement also relates an anecdote worthy of remembrance in the seventh book of the Hypotyposes, from a tradition of his predecessors. He says that the man who brought him to trial, on seeing him bear his testimony, was moved, and confessed that he was a Christian himself. Accordingly, he says, they were both led away together, and on the way the other asked James to forgive him. And he, considering a little, said, "Peace be to thee" and kissed him. And so both were beheaded together.
And now, as the blessed Presbyter used to say, since the Lord, as the Apostle of the Almighty, was sent to the Hebrews, Paul, as having been sent to the Gentiles, did not subscribe himself apostle of the Hebrews, out of modesty and reverence for the Lord, and because, being the herald and apostle of the Gentiles, his writing to the Hebrews was something over and above [his assigned function.]
Again, in the same books Clement has set down a tradition which he had received from the elders before him, in regard to the order of the Gospels, to the following effect. He says that the Gospels containing the genealogies were written first, and that the Gospel according to Mark was composed in the following circumstances:-Peter having preached the word publicly at Rome, and by the Spirit proclaimed the Gospel, those who were present, who were numerous, entreated Mark, in as much as he had attended him from an early period, and remembered what had been said, to write down what had been spoken. On his composing the Gospel, he handed it to those who had made the request to him; which coming to Peter's knowledge, he neither hindered nor encouraged. But John, the last of all, seeing that what was corporeal was set forth in the Gospels, on the entreaty of his intimate friends, and inspired by the Spirit, composed a spiritual Gospel.