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[XTalk] Re: Destruction of texts?

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  • Yuri Kuchinsky
    ... Isolated cases, Bob? Here are quite a few of these isolated cases for you. I suppose it was the Blue Fairy who flew into the window and spirited all these
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 3, 2000
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      On Sun, 2 Jan 2000, Robert M Schacht wrote:
      > On Wed, 29 Dec 1999 17:06:45 -0500 Davies miser1-@... writes:

      > > Of course even a cursory glance through the anti-heresy writers (e.g.
      > > Irenaeus) reveals a mindset that unquestionably would have eagerly
      > > destroyed all contrary texts if possible.

      ...

      > So the legend that "the Church" set out to "destroy" texts is mostly
      > anti-Christian polemic which mostly turns to vapor on closer
      > examination. What you'll occasionally find is that some Churches
      > destroyed some books now and then; but even after Constantine I'll bet
      > you won't find much other than isolated cases of book destruction.

      Isolated cases, Bob?

      Here are quite a few of these isolated cases for you. I suppose it was the
      Blue Fairy who flew into the window and spirited all these texts away?

      Regards,

      Yuri.

      [quote]

      From the homepage of Robert Kraft,

      http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/rs/rak/kraft.html

      gopher://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/11/courses/rels/535


      VARIETIES OF EARLY CHRISTIANITY RelSt 535
      Lost Books of Early Christian Literature R. Kraft

      This list is based on Goodspeed-Grant chapter 16;
      the arrangements attempts to be roughly chronological.
      Goodspeed-Grant do not claim to be exhaustive here!
      [Add now NHL Coptic texts of which no Greek exists.]

      Gospel "Q" (?) -- no complete text
      "Signs" Source of GJn -- no complete text
      "We" Source of Acts -- no complete text
      Letter(s) of Paul to the Corinthians -- no text [see 1-2 Cor]
      Letter of Paul to the Laodiceans (?) -- no text [see Eph?]
      Letter of Paul to the Alexandrians -- no text [see Mur.Canon]
      Letter of Polycarp to the Philippians -- no complete Greek text
      Epistle of the Apostles -- no Greek text [Ethiopic]
      Letter of the Gallican Churches -- no complete text
      Shepherd of Hermas -- no complete Greek text
      Revelation of Peter -- no complete Greek text
      Sibylline Oracles Books 9, 10, 15 -- no text
      Pistis Sophia -- no Greek text
      Gospel of the Egyptians -- no complete text [see NHL]
      Gospel of the Hebrews -- no complete text
      Gospel of Peter -- no complete text
      British Museum Gospel -- no complete text
      Gospel of Thomas -- no complete Greek text [see NHL Coptic]
      Traditions of Matthias -- no text
      Secret Sayings of Matthias -- no text
      Gospel of Matthias(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Ebionites -- no complete text
      Gospel of Basilides -- no text
      Gospel of Judas(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Truth -- no Greek text [Coptic]
      Gospel of Philip -- no Greek text [Coptic]
      Gospel of Bartholomew(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Barnabas(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Apelles(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Cerinthus(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Eve(?) -- no text
      Gospel of Perfection(?) -- no text
      Acts of Paul -- no complete text
      Acts of John -- no complete text
      Acts of Peter -- no complete text
      Acts of Andrew -- no complete text
      Clementine Recognitions -- no complete Greek text
      Preaching of Peter -- no text
      Preachings of Peter -- no text
      Journeys of Peter -- no text
      Ascents of Jacob/James -- no text

      [[here the sequence becomes more strictly chronological]]
      Apology of Quadratus -- no text
      Aristo's Dialogue of Jason and Papiscus -- no text
      Apology of Aristides -- no complete Greek text
      Justin's Dialogue with Trypho -- no complete text
      Justin's Against the Greeks -- no text
      Justin's Against All Heresies (=? Refutation) -- no text
      Justin's Against Marcion -- no text
      Justin's On the Soverignty of God -- no text
      Justin's Psaltes -- no text
      Justin's On the Soul -- no text
      Letter to Diognetus -- no complete text
      Tatian's Diatessaron -- no Greek or Syriac text
      Tatian's Problems -- no text
      Tatian's On Perfection according to the Savior -- no Greek text
      Tatian's On Animals -- no text
      Tatian's On Demons (?) -- no text
      Tatian's Chronicle -- no text
      Rhodo, Solutions -- no text
      Rhodo, Against the Heresy of Marcion -- no text
      Rhodo, On the Six Days' Work of Creation -- no text
      Marcion, Contradictions -- no text
      Teaching (Doctrina) of the Apostles (short form) -- no Greek text
      Papias, Interpretations of Sayings of the Lord -- no text
      Odes of Solomon -- no complete Greek text
      Hegesippus, Memoirs -- no text
      Melito, On the Conduct of Life and the Prophets -- no text
      Melito, On the Church -- no text
      Melito, On the Lord's Day -- no text
      Melito, On the Faith of Man -- no text
      Melito, On His Creation -- no text
      Melito, On the Obedience of Faith -- no text
      Melito, On the Senses -- no text
      Melito, On the Soul and Body -- no text
      Melito, On Baptism -- no text
      Melito, On Truth -- no text
      Melito, On the Creation and Generation of Christ -- no text
      Melito, On Prophecy -- no text
      Melito, On Hospitality -- no text
      Melito, A Key [to the Scriptures] -- no text
      Melito, On the Devil and the Revelation of John -- no text
      Melito, Apology -- no text
      Melito, Selections from the Old Testament -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, Against the Heresy of Hermogenes -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, Against Marcion -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, Gospel Harmony (?) -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, Catechetical Books -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, On History -- no text
      Theophilus of Antioch, Commentary on Proverbs -- no text
      Irenaeus, Refutation of Gnosticism -- no Greek text
      Irenaeus, Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching -- no Greek text
      Irenaeus, On Knowledge -- no text
      Irenaeus, On Schism -- no text
      Irenaeus, On the Ogdoad -- no text
      Irenaeus, On Sovereignty -- no text

      Clement of Alexandria, Outlines [of Scripture] -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On the Passover -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On Fasting -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On Evil-speaking -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On Patience -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On Providence -- no text
      Clement of Alexandria, On the Prophet Amos (?) -- no text

      Tertullian, On Baptism -- no Greek text
      Tertullian, On the Hope of the Faithful -- no text
      Tertullian, On Paradise -- no text
      Tertullian, Against the Followers of Apelles -- no text
      Tertullian, On the Origin of the Soul -- no text
      Tertullian, On Fate -- no text
      Tertullian, On Ecstasy -- no text
      Tertullian, Garments of Aaron -- no text
      Tertullian, To a Philosophic Friend -- no text
      Tertullian, On Flesh and Soul -- no text
      Tertullian, On Submission of Soul -- no text
      Tertullian, Superstition of the World -- no text
      Tertullian, On Shows -- no Greek text
      Tertullian, On the Veiling of Virgins -- no Greek text
      Tertullian, On Clean and Unclean Animals (?) -- no text
      Tertullian, On Circumcision (?) -- no text

      Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies -- no complete Greek text
      Hippolytus, On Daniel -- no complete Greek text
      Hippolytus, On the Song of Songs -- no Greek text
      Hippolytus, On the Blessing of Moses -- no Greek text
      Hippolytus, On the Story of David and Goliath -- no Greek text
      Hippolytus, The Six Days of Creation -- no text
      Hippolytus, What Followed the Six Days -- no text
      Hippolytus, The Blessing of Jacob -- no Greek text
      Hippolytus, The Blessing of Balaam -- no text
      Hippolytus, Moses' Song -- no text
      Hippolytus, Elkanah and Hannah -- no text
      Hippolytus, The Witch of Endor -- no text
      Hippolytus, On the Psalms -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Proverbs -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Ecclesiastes -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Isaiah (part) -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Ezekiel (part) -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Zechariah -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Matthew (part) -- no text
      Hippolytus, Parable of the Talents -- no text
      Hippolytus, The Two Thieves -- no text
      Hippolytus, On the Revelation -- no text
      Hippolytus, Against Marcion -- no text
      Hippolytus, Against Artemon: the Little Labyrinth -- no text
      Hippolytus, Against 32 Heresies -- no text
      Hippolytus, Heads against Gaius (?) -- no text
      Hippolytus, In Defense of the Gospel and Revelation of John -- no text
      Hippolytus, On the Resurrection -- no text
      Hippolytus, On the Universe: Against the Greeks and Plato -- no text
      Hippolytus, On Good and the Source of Evil -- no text
      Hippolytus, Address to Severina -- no text
      Hippolytus, Determination of the Date of Easter -- no text
      Hippolytus, Chronicle -- no Greek text
      Hippolytus, Apostolic Tradition -- no Greek text

      Gaius, Dialogue with Proclus -- no text

      Origen, Hexapla -- no Greek text
      Origen, Homilies -- no Greek text of 554 out of 574
      Origen, Homilies -- no text of 388 out of 574
      Origen, Commentaries -- no Greek text of 275 out of 291
      Origen, Commentaries -- no text of ??? out of 291 ("very little
      preserved in Latin")
      Origen, On First Principles -- no complete Greek text
      Origen, Letters -- no text of 98 out of 100
      Origen, Miscellanies in 10 books -- no text

      Julius Africanus, Chronography -- no text
      Julius Africanus, Cestoi (or Paradoxa) -- no text
      Julius Africanus, Letter to Aristides -- no text

      Dionysius of Alexandria, On Nature -- no complete text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, On trials -- no text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, On Promises -- no complete text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, Refutation and Apology -- no text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, Exposition of Ecclesiastes (part) -- no text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, On Temptations -- no text
      Dionysius of Alexandria, Fifty Letters -- no text for most

      Nepos of Arsinoe%, Refutation of the Allegorists -- no text

      Novatian, On the Passover -- no text
      Novatian, On the Sabbath -- no text
      Novatian, On Circumcision -- no text
      Novatian, On the Priesthood -- no text
      Novatian, On Prayer -- no text
      Novatian, On Zeal -- no text
      Novatian, On Attalus -- no text

      Pamphilus, Defense of Origen -- no Greek text, only book 1 in Latin

      Lactantius, Symposium (or, the Banquet) -- no text
      Lactantius, Journey to Nicomedia -- no text
      Lactantius, Grammar -- no text
      Lactantius, Letters to Probus in 4 books -- no text
      Lactantius, Letters to Severus in 2 books -- no text
      Lactantius, Letters to Demetrianus in 2 books -- no text

      Victorinus, Against All Heresies -- no certain text
      Victorinus, Commentaries on Gen Ex Lev Isa Ezek Hab Qoh Cant Matt
      -- no text

      Eusebius of Caesaria, --

      //end (incomplete)//
    • Larry J. Swain
      ... Yuri, You make some amazing assumptions here. The list you produce is a list of lost works, nothing more. It does not demonstrate that the early church
      Message 2 of 3 , Jan 3, 2000
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        Yuri Kuchinsky wrote:

        > > So the legend that "the Church" set out to "destroy" texts is mostly
        > > anti-Christian polemic which mostly turns to vapor on closer
        > > examination. What you'll occasionally find is that some Churches
        > > destroyed some books now and then; but even after Constantine I'll bet
        > > you won't find much other than isolated cases of book destruction.
        >
        > Isolated cases, Bob?
        >
        > Here are quite a few of these isolated cases for you. I suppose it was the
        > Blue Fairy who flew into the window and spirited all these texts away?
        >
        > <list snipped>

        Yuri,
        You make some amazing assumptions here. The list you produce is a list of
        lost works, nothing more. It does not demonstrate that the early church went
        about destroying texts. Many of those listed are quite orthodox in nature
        which would indicate that the church would not have been seeking to destroy
        them, no? Lost, no longer available to us, is not the same as actively
        destroyed.

        Larry Swain
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