Joseph Smith’s calling as a prophet was necessitated by the great apostasy that had taken place in the early Church established by Christ in the meridian of time. Latter-day Saint researchers who have written about the apostasy have generally taken two approaches: 1) to delineate early doctrines that had been corrupted by later generations of Christians, especially when mixed with Greek philosophy, and 2) to demonstrate the great wickedness that existed in high clerical positions during the Middle Ages.
While both of these are evidences for apostasy, they are not the direct cause leading to the loss of Christ’s Church. Recent research suggests that the apostasy had already run its course before the introduction of philosophical ideas and the prostitution of Christianity.1 Indeed, the false doctrines that the latter-day restoration was designed to correct came about because divine revelation had ceased. Without that revelation, Christians were “carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).
The apostle Paul, who wrote those words, also gave the formula by which this kind of error could be avoided. He said that the Lord “gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-13).
It was through the officers of the Church, notably the apostles and prophets, that Christ governed the New Testament Church, both before and after his mortal ministry.2 The loss of these officers–and the revelation they received from the Lord–was the single biggest blow to that Church,3 and it began in the time of the apostles themselves.4 Christ himself warned of false prophets who would arise after the death of the apostles (Matthew 7:15; 24:5, 9-11).
New Testament Witnesses
The apostle Peter wrote of the false doctrines (“damnable heresies”) that “false teachers” would secretly (“privily”) introduce from within the Church itself (2 Peter 2:1-2). They would do this by means of “feigned words,” which the New International Version of the Bible translation renders “stories they have made up.” Peter further wrote of “them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise [church] government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities” (2 Peter 2:10), evidently meaning that they criticized leaders of the Church.
Another New Testament writer, Jude, similarly wrote of wicked men who dared to “despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities” (Jude 1:8). Like Peter and Jude, John noted that the general authorities of the Church were being rejected by some of the members. He wrote that a local church leader, “Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the Church” (3 John 1:9-10). Not content to reject the apostles himself, Diotrephes had begun excommunicating members who still accepted them.
The apostle Paul is a major witness of the apostasy that was taking place in the early Church. To the Thessalonians, he warned that Christ’s second coming would be preceded by “a falling away” and noted that “the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:1, 7). The Greek term rendered “letteth” in the King James Version of the Bible means to “restrain” or to “hinder.” When the person (perhaps the apostle John or Paul himself) would “be taken out of the way,” then the devil, the “man of sin” would have his way (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 8).
That the apostasy was near seems clear from Paul’s exhortation to the elders of Ephesus, in which he stressed that “after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves [i.e., the leaders] shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30). At one point, he lamented “that all they which are in Asia5 be turned away from me” and even named two of the men responsible for leading people astray in Ephesus (2 Timothy 1:15; 2:14-18). There were similar problems at Corinth, where there were “false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” in the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:13; see also verses 14-15, 26).
Near the end of the first century A.D., the apostle John also wrote that there had already been false apostles in the branch of the Church established in Ephesus (Revelation 2:2), while some members of the Church at Thyatira had followed a false prophetess (Revelation 2:20). The situation in Ephesus had reached such a critical stage that the Lord threatened to remove that branch’s candlestick (Revelation 2:5). From Revelation 1:20, we learn that the candlesticks represented the branches themselves, so the implication is that the Lord would no longer acknowledge the Church at Ephesus as his own. John addressed the book of Revelation “to the seven churches which are in Asia” (Revelation 1:4). The admonitions he sent suggest that Paul’s words to the Ephesian elders and to their bishop Timothy6 about the coming apostasy were being fulfilled.7
An early apostate was a Samaritan convert to the Church named Simon, who thought he could purchase the priesthood, with the power to lay hands on others so they might receive the Holy Ghost.8 Generally known as Simon Magus [“the magician”], he was considered a sorcerer and led many astray. His encounter with the apostle Peter is described in Acts 8:9-24, and a lengthier account of a later debate between the two is recorded in an early Christian text known as Recognitions of Clement9 and in Clementine Homilies.10 According toConstitutions of the Holy Apostles 6.2.7-9, Peter excommunicated Simon.11
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (died 107 A.D.), in his Epistle to the Philadelphians 6, warned against Simon’s teachings.12 Irenaeus, a second-century bishop of Lyon, dedicated a portion of his treatise on apostate groups to a discussion of the heresy of Simon Magus (Against Heresies 1.23.1-5; 1.23.4).13 Other early Church Fathers who wrote against Simon’s teachings include Tertullian,14 Origen,15 Hippolytus,16 Pamphilus,17 Arnobius,18 Augustine,19 John Chrysostom,20 Eusebius,21 Jerome,22 Rufinus,23 Athanasius,24 Cyril of Jerusalem,25Ambrose,26 Vincent of Lérins,27 and Eutyches.28
The Apostolic Fathers
Various early Church Fathers, some of whom had known the apostles or their immediate disciples, wrote of the apostasy that took place in the early days of the Christian Church. The fourth-century church historian Eusebius reported that Hegesippus (ca. 110-180 A.D.), recounting events in the time of the emperor Trajan (98-117 A.D.),
records that the Church up to that time had remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, since, if there were any that attempted to corrupt the sound norm of the preaching of salvation, they lay until then concealed in obscure darkness. But when the sacred college of apostles had suffered death in various forms, and the generation of those that had been deemed worthy to hear the inspired wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then the league of godless error took its rise as a result of the folly of heretical teachers, who, because none of the apostles was still living, attempted henceforth, with a bold face, to proclaim, in opposition to the preaching of the truth, “the knowledge which is falsely so-called.” (Ecclesiastical History 3.32.7-8)29
Hegisippus described how some of these problems had come about because of jealousy when Symeon, one of Jesus’ cousins, had been selected as bishop in Jerusalem in place of the Lord’s brother James, who had been slain:
Therefore they called the Church a virgin, for it was not yet corrupted by vain discourses. But Thebuthis, because he was not made bishop, began to corrupt it. He also was sprung from the seven sects among the people, like Simon, from whom came the Simonians, and Cleobius, from whom came the Cleobians, and Dositheus, from whom came the Dositheans, and Gorthaeus, from whom came the Goratheni, and Masbotheus, from whom came the Masbothaeans. From them sprang the Menandrianists, and Marcionists, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians. Each introduced privately and separately his own peculiar opinion. From them came false Christs, false prophets, false apostles, who divided the unity of the Church by corrupt doctrines uttered against God and against his Christ. (Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 4.22, citing a lost work of Hegisippus)30
In his Epistle to the Philadelphians 5, Ignatius mentioned “the false prophets and the false apostles” who had already come before his time.31 He warned the Ephesians of those “who endeavor to corrupt the Church of Christ” (Epistle to the Ephesians 16).32 The Epistle to the Antiochians, attributed to Ignatius but probably not written before the sixth century, warns “against those heresies of the wicked one which have broken in upon us, to the deceiving and destruction of those that accept of them; but that he give heed to the doctrine of the apostles, and believe both the law and the prophets.”33
The Didache or “Teaching” of the Twelve Apostles, thought to have been written in the first or early second century A.D., repeats some of the New Testament warnings about apostasy, declaring that “in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increaseth, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning” (Didache 16).34 The sheep becoming wolves reflects apostasy from within the Church.
As noted earlier, one of the major causes of the apostasy was rebellion against early Church leaders. This rebellion was already under way in the first century. Clement of Rome, who died ca. 90 A.D., wrote to the Corinthians of “that shameful and detestable sedition” by which
the worthless rose up against the honoured, those of no reputation against such as were renowned, the foolish against the wise, the young against those advanced in years. For this reason righteousness and peace are now far departed from you, inasmuch as every one abandons the fear of God, and is become blind in his faith, neither walks in the ordinances of his appointment, nor acts a part becoming [a???] Christian, but walks after his own wicked lusts. (1 Clement 1, 3)35
In the same epistle, he declared, “It is right and holy therefore, men and brethren, rather to obey God than to follow those who, through pride and sedition, have become the leaders of a detestable emulation” (1 Clement 14, alluding to Acts 5:29). The term “emulation” suggests that these false leaders taught an imitation form of Christianity. Clement further wrote that
Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate [bishopric] . . . We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole Church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties . . . But we see that ye have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour. (1 Clement 44).36
He noted that “Your schism has subverted [the faith of] many, has discouraged many, has given rise to doubt in many, and has caused grief to us all. And still your sedition continueth” (1 Clement 46).37 He added, “But now reflect who those are that have perverted you . . . It is disgraceful, beloved, yea, highly disgraceful, and unworthy of your Christian profession, that such a thing should be heard of as that the most stedfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians should, on account of one or two persons, engage in sedition against its presbyters [elders]” (1 Clement 47).38
The rejection of Church leaders is also attested in other branches of the Church. Ignatius, bishop of Smyrna, who died in 107 A.D., wrote that “some indeed give one the title of bishop, but do all things without him. Now such persons seem to me to be not possessed of a good conscience, seeing they are not stedfastly gathered together according to the commandment” (Epistle to the Magnesians 4).39
Justin Martyr, a second-century Christian philosopher, seems to have acknowledged that apostasy was already taking place in his days. He noted that Jesus “foretold that in the interval between His [first and second] advent, as I previously said, priests and false prophets would arise in His name, which things do actually appear” (Dialogue with Trypho 51).40Hippolytus wrote one of his books “because of that apostasy or error which was recently invented out of ignorance” (Apostolic Tradition 1:4).41
Dionysus, bishop of Corinth (ca. 170 A.D.) wrote of apostates who were falsifying both his writings and the scriptures. “For I wrote letters when the brethren requested me to write. And these letters the apostles of the devil have filled with tares, taking away some things and adding others, for whom a woe is in store. It is not wonderful [i.e., surprising], then, if some have attempted to adulterate the Lord’s writings, when they have formed designs against those which are not such” (To the Roman Church 4).42
Later Christian Witnesses
Basil, bishop of Caesarea (329-379 A.D.), writing to the people of Chalcis, expressed concern over the turmoil that had overtaken the eastern churches and was now encroaching on other areas (Letter 222).43 When Barses, bishop of Edessa (in Syria) had been exiled to Egypt by the emperor Valens, the “shepherd” being replaced by “a wolf,”44 Basil wrote to Barses, expressing concern over the situation in the church, hoping for the best “unless indeed the apostasy is now nigh at hand, and the events that have lately happened are the beginnings of the approach of Antichrist” (Letter 264).45 When John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople, was deposed by his own congregation in 403 A.D., Innocent, bishop of Rome, wrote a letter chiding his congregation:
At the present time, by a perversion of custom, guiltless priests are expelled from the presidency of their own Churches. And this is what your chief brother, and fellow minister, John, your bishop has unjustly suffered, not having obtained any hearing: no crime is charged against him, none is heard. And what is the object of this iniquitous device? that no pretext for a trial may occur, or be sought, other men are introduced into the places of living priests, as if those who start from an offense of this description could be judged by any one to have anything good or to have done anything right. For we understand that such deeds have never been perpetrated by our fathers or rather that they were prevented by the fact that no one had authority given him to ordain another to take the place of one who was still living. For a spurious ordination cannot deprive the priest of his rank: seeing that neither can he be a bishop who is wrongfully substituted for another.46
The Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah, a Jewish pseudepigraphic text that was expanded by a Christian hand no later than the fourth century A.D., describes the condition of the church prior to the Savior’s second coming:
And afterwards, at his approach, his disciples will abandon the teaching of the twelve apostles, and their faith, and their love, and their purity. And there will be much contention at his coming and at his approach. And in those days (there will be) many who will love office, although lacking wisdom. And there will be many wicked elders and shepherds who wrong their sheep [and they will be rapacious because they do not have holy shepherds]. And many will exchange the glory of the robes of the saints for the robes of those who love money; and there will be much respect of persons in those days, and lovers of the glory of this world. And there will be many slanderers and [much] vainglory at the approach of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit will withdraw from many. And in those days there will not be many prophets, nor those who speak reliable words, except one here and there in different places, because of the spirit of error and of fornication, and of vainglory, and of the love of money, which there will be among those who are said to be servants of that One, and among those who receive that One. And among the shepherds and the elders there will be great hatred towards one another. For there will be great jealousy in the last days, for everyone will speak whatever pleases him in his own eyes. And they will make ineffective the prophecy of the prophets who were before me, and my visions also . . . they will make ineffective, in order that they may speak what bursts out of their hearts. (Martyrdom and Ascension of Isaiah 3:21-31)47
Another early Christian text that provides evidence for an apostasy and restoration is the Testament of the Lord, which was translated into Syriac in 687 A.D.. According to this account, said to have been taken “From the Book of Clement on the End,”48 when Jesus appeared to the apostles after his resurrection he gave additional signs of the perilous times to come. He declared that
In the nations and in the churches there shall be great tumults. There shall arise among them wicked pastors, contemptuous, gluttonous, lovers of pleasures, lovers of riches, impure, lovers of money, garrulous, audacious, perverse, insolent, voluptuous, vainglorious, withstanding the ways of My gospel and flying from the narrow gate and rejecting all mortification for God’s sake, having no sympathy with My Passion, and despising all words of truth and slandering every God-fearing way, not penitent over their sins . . . their pastors have heard my precepts and have not kept them, neither have they taught My laws to the people, but they have become an example of all wickedness in their own persons . . . But they that shall hope on My name until they end, they shall live. Then they shall lay down for men precepts not according to My Will and traditions in which My Father is not well pleased. And my elect shall be despised and My saints mocked by them, and as unclean they shall be called in their midst, although they are pure and upright . . . And it shall come to pass in those days My Father shall gather from the generation pure and faithful souls, to whom I shall manifest Myself and shall take up My abode with them and I shall send them a good understanding of knowledge and rectitude and truth, and they shall not cease praising and confessing their God and My Father that sent Me, and they shall ever speak the truth and teach those whom My Father has tried and chosen, who are rightly directed in their hearts towards the kingdom, and shall make known knowledge and fortitude and intelligence.49
An Ethiopic text entitled Testament of Our Lord and Our Savior Jesus Christ also has the resurrected Christ visiting his apostles to instruct them. Most of the text comprises a discussion of the last days and of what lies in store for the righteous and the wicked. The Savior warns his apostles about the Antichrist, who is identified with “the Seducer” (evidently referring to the devil), saying “the time has come, the harvest is near, he shall harvest the ones he should . . . and before many he shall present himself as the Christ, they shall worship him.”50Christ warns the apostles to beware of the heresies of Simon [Magus] and Cerinthus, who were leading many astray. At one point, he said, “my judgment shall come on the bishops and the pastors (or the priests), for they have made my people err,51 because of the desire for their own pleasure.”52
The apostasy was also foreseen in the Nag Hammadi document known as the Apocalypse of Peter. The resurrected Christ appears to the apostles and allows Peter to see a vision, which Jesus explains to him. Peter sees “the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die” (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 72.5-9). Jesus explains that the people he has seen are “blind ones who have no guide” (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 72.10-13).53 The Savior then tells Peter to listen to what the people are saying and the apostle realizes that they are praising Christ (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 72.29-73.10). Jesus explains that “many will accept our teaching in the beginning. And they will turn from them again” (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 73.23-26).54 He adds,
And the guileless, good, pure one they push to the worker of death, and to the kingdom of those who praise Christ in a restoration. And they praise the men of the propagation of falsehood, those who will come after you. And they will cleave to the name of a dead man [Christ on the cross rather than the living Christ, as he subsequently explains], thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into a name of error, and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma, and they will be ruled heretically. For some of them will blaspheme the truth and proclaim evil teaching. (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 74.4-22)55
And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals. (Apocalypse of Peter VII, 79.22-31)56
President Brigham Young warned that “One of the first steps to apostasy is to find fault with your Bishop; and when that is done, unless repented of a second step is soon taken, and by and by the person is cut off from the Church, and that is the end of it. Will you allow yourselves to find fault with your Bishop? No; but come to me, go to the High Council, or to the President of the Stake, and ascertain whether your Bishop is doing wrong, before you find fault and suffer yourselves to speak against a presiding officer” (Journal of Discourses9:141).
President Young was speaking about individual apostasy, which was also on the prophet Joseph Smith’s mind when he explained “that the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man” (D&C 121:36-37).
In view of the evidence from the ancient texts cited herein, it seems clear that the general apostasy in the early Church was the result of individual apostasy by dissident Christians who not only rejected the Lord’s chosen servants, but sometimes set themselves up in their place. With the passing of the apostles and other recognized authorities of the early Church, these rebellious individuals filled the void and brought their own opinions, rather than the Lord’s revealed truth, into the Church.
1 Noel Reynolds, director of the BYU Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, has spent the last several years meeting with other BYU faculty members to discuss issues related to the causes of the great apostasy, with a view to publishing some materials on the subject.
2 That there were prophets in the New Testament Church is affirmed in Acts 11:27; 13:1; 15:32; 21:10; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; 14:29-32, 37.
3 Some have incorrectly assumed that the loss of the apostles alone was sufficient for the Lord to withdraw his authority from the earth, but this is incorrect. Presidents Brigham Young and Joseph F. Smith interpreted D&C 107:21-37 as meaning that just as the Twelve Apostles have the authority to reorganize the First Presidency on the death of the President of the Church, should eleven of the Twelve die, it would be responsibility of the remaining apostle to reorganize the Church. Should all Twelve die, that responsibility would fall to the Seventy, even if only one of them remained alive. The last remaining high priest could do so, as could an elder, provided the Lord authorized it by revelation. See the discussion in John A. Tvedtnes, Organize My Kingdom: A History of Restored Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Cornerstone, 2000), 217-219, 298-300. For Brigham Young’s remarks, see Journal of Discourses9:87-88); for those of Joseph F. Smith, see Liahona, or Elders Journal 4 (7 September 1895): 43, 45-46. For similar statements by Church leaders, see Journal of Discourses 4:275-276; 5:8; Conference Report, October 1903, 87; Improvement Era, November 1956, 788.
4 Some have taken Jesus’ words to the apostles in Matthew 28:20 (“I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”) as evidence that there could not have been an apostasy. But the Greek term rendered “world” is aion (from which we get “aeon”), which denotes a specific time period. In this case, it would refer to the dispensation of the gospel in the meridian of time.
5 While the modern world uses the name Asia to denote the far east, in earlier times it referred only to a portion of what is now western Turkey. The chief city of this region was Ephesus, where Paul had spent several years preaching (Acts 20:31).
6 See the note added to the end of 2 Timothy.
7 Ignatius, in his Epistle to the Ephesians 9:1, wrote, “I have heard of some who have passed in among you, holding the wicked doctrine of the strange and evil spirit; to whom ye did not allow entrance to sow their tares, but stopped your ears that ye might not receive that error which was proclaimed by them.” Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (reprint Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 1:53.
8 In medieval European Christianity, when a wealthy man could literally pay to become a bishop, the practice came to be known as Simony, from Simon’s attempt to buy the priesthood from Peter, and many objected to the practice.
9 Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers (reprint Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 8:96-31.
10 Ibid., 8:232-249.
11 Ibid., 7:452-453. The passage is also cited in Canon 5 of the seventh ecumenical council and its epitome, as well as in Canon 29 (30) of the Apostolic Canons. See Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series (reprint Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1994), 14:559, 595.
12 Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:82.
13 Ibid., 1:347-348, 353. See also Irenaeus’s preface to book 2 of his study (ibid., 1:359), as also 2.9 (ibid., 1:369), 3:12,12 (ibid., 1:434); 4:33.3 (ibid., 1:507).
14 Apology 13 (Ibid., 3:29); On Idolatry 9 (Ibid., 3:66); A Treatise on the Soul 34, 57 (Ibid., 3:215, 234); Against All Heresies 1 (Ibid., 3:649).
15 Against Celsus 6.11 (ibid., 4:578); Commentary on the Gospel of John 1:38; 6:17 (ibid., 9:317, 367).
16 Refutation of All Heresies 6.2-15; 10:8 (ibid., 5:74-81, 143). See also Appendix to Hippolytus (containing texts that may be spurious), Treatise on the End of the World 9 (ibid., 5:244). In the same volume, see the anonymous Treatise on Re-baptism 16 (ibid., 5:676).
17 An Exposition of the Chapters of the Acts of the Apostles J (ibid., 6:167).
18 Against the Heathen 2.12 (ibid., 6:438).
19 On the Trinity 15:19 , 264 [46 ] in Philip Schaff, ed., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series (reprint, Peabody, Ma: Hendrickson, 1994), 3:219, 224; Reply to Faustus the Manichaan 19.12 (ibid., 4:243-4); On Baptism, Against the Donatist 1.9-11, 16; 3.16; 4.16, 21; 6.12 (ibid., 4:417-419, 422, 443, 453, 460, 485); Response to Letters of Petilian the Donatist 1.23; 2.7, 21, 47, 103; 3.33, 40 (ibid., 4:527, 532, 541, 558, 590, 612, 616); Sermon 21.16 (ibid., 6:323); Tractates on the Gospel According to St. John 6.18; 13:17 (ibid., 7:45, 93); On the Psalms 91.15; 131.3 (ibid., 8:450, 615).
20 Homilies on the Acts of the Apostles 3 (ibid. 11:24).
21 Ecclesiastical History 2.1.10-12, 13.1-6, 15, 15.1; 3.26.3; 4.7.3, 22.4, in Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series, 1:104-105, 113-116, 158, 178, 199.
22 Lives of Illustrious Men 1 (ibid., 3:361); Letter 133 to Ctesiphon 4 (ibid., 6:275); Dialogue Against the Luciferians 23 (ibid., 6:332); Against Jovinianus 2.1 (ibid., 6:387).
23 Preface to the Book of Recognitions of St. Clement (ibid., 3:563).
24 Four Discourses Against the Arians 1.1.3; 3.30.65 (ibid., 4:307, 429).
25 Catechetical Lectures, Prologue 2; 3.7; 6:14-15; 15:5; 17:25 (ibid., 7:1, 16, 37-38, 105, 130).
26 Concerning Repentance 2.4-5 (ibid., 10:348-349).
27 Commonitory for the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith 24  (ibid., 11:150).
28 Letter to Leo 3 (ibid., 12:33).
29 Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series, 1:164.The quote at the end of the passage is from 1 Timothy 6:20.
30 Ibid., 1:199.
31 Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 1:82.
32 Ibid., 1:56.
33 Ibid., 1:110.
34 Ibid., 7:382.
35 Ibid., 1:5-6.
36 Ibid., 1:17.
37 Ibid., 1:18.
39 Ibid., 1:61.
40 Ibid., 1:221.
41 Gregory Dix and Henry Chadwick, eds., Hippolytus, The Apostolic Tradition (Ridgefield CT: Morehouse, 1991), 2.
42 Alexander Roberts and James Donaldson, eds., The Ante-Nicene Fathers, 8:765.
43 Philip Schaff and Henry Wace, eds., Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers Second Series, 8:261-262.
44 Theodoret, Ecclesiastical History 14-15; ibid., 3:79-80.
45 Ibid., 8:303.
46 Philip Schaff, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, First Series, 9:313-314.
47 James H. Charlesworth, ed., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha (Garden City: Doubleday, 1985), 2:161.
48 J. P. Arendzen, “A New Syriac Text of the Apocalyptic Part of the ‘Testament of the Lord’,” The Journal of Theological Studies 2 (1900): 405.
49 Ibid., 407-409.
50 Louis Guerrier, “Le Testament en Galilée de Notre-Seugneur Jesus-Christ,” in Patrologia Orientalis (Paris: Firmin-Didot, 1913), 9/3: 183. The author of the text seems to have had in mind Paul’s prophecy in 2 Thessalonians 2, discussed earlier.
51 Cf. Isaiah 3:12 and especially Jeremiah 23:13, 32; Micah 3:5.
52 Louis Guerrier, “Le Testament en Galilée de Notre-Seugneur Jesus-Christ,” 185
53 James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, 3rd revised ed. (San Francisco: Harper, 1988), 373.
54 Ibid., 374. Cf. Matthew 7:22-23, where Jesus says, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
55 Ibid., 374.
56 Ibid., 376.