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Gospel of the Nazoreans

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Estimated Range of Dating: 100-160 A.D.

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Information on the Gospel of the Nazoreans

The Gospel of the Nazoreans is an expansion of the Gospel of Matthew, translated from Greek into Aramaic or Syriac.

In The Other Gospels, Cameron notes the sources that are available: "The first reference to the Gospel of the Nazoreans was made ca. 180 C.E. by Hegesippus (a church writer whose five-volume 'Memoirs' are now lost, preserved only in a few quotations in the writings of Eusebius). Fragments are preserved in the works of Origen (early in the third century) and Eusebius (early in the fourth century); Epiphanius (late in the fourth century) attests to the existence of this gospel, but does not quote from it. Most of the fragments that are to be assigned to the Gospel of the Nazoreans come from the writings of Jerome (ca. 400 C.E.), who incorrectly identifies this gospel with the Gospel of the Hebrews, but who, his testimony notwithstanding, certainly had firsthand knowledge only of the Gospel of the Nazoreans."

Cameron also makes these observations on provenance and dating: "The Gospel of the Nazoreans was composed sometime after the Gospel of Matthew and before the first attestation of the text by Hegesippus. Its provenance is most likely western Syria, where Matthew was probably composed and the Nazoreans were still at home in the fourth century. The theology reflected in the extant fragments is not at all 'heretical,' but is closely aligned with and dependent upon the developing theology of the emerging 'catholic' church. The variant readings witness to the instability of gospel texts and gospel manuscripts in the first few centuries C.E. Most of all, the Gospel of the Nazoreans demonstrates the continuing use and expansion of gospel traditions within a group of Jewish Christians."

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Kirby, Peter. "Gospel of the Nazoreans." Early Christian Writings. <>.