The Canon Muratorianus
Below is my translation of the Canon
Muratorianus. The original and corrected texts
are taken from Daniel J. Theron, Evidence of Tradition: Selected Source Material for
the Study of the History of the Early Church (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book
House, 1958): 106-112.
Please write me with any comments, suggestions, or (especially) corrections!
...quibus tamen inerfuit et ita posuit·
tertio evangelii librum secundo lucan lucas iste medicus post ascensum
xpi. cum eo paulus quasi ut iuris studiosum secundum adsumsisset numeni suo
ex opinione conscripset dnm tamen nec ipse
dni per ordinem profetetur acta autē omniū
apostolorum sub uno libro scribta sunt lucas obtime theofile conprindit quia
sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur sicut
...quibus tamen interfuit et ita posuit. tertium evangelii librum secundum Lucam. Lucas iste medicus post ascensum Christi cum eum Paulus quasi itineris sui socium secum adsumsisset nomine suo ex opinione conscripsit -- Dominum tamen nec ipse vidit in carne -- et idem prout assequi potuit: ita et a nativitate Iohannis incepit dicere, quarti evangeliorum Iohannis ex discipulis. cohortantibus condiscipulis et episcopis suis dixit Conieiunate mihi hodie triduum, et quid cuique fuerit revelatum altertutrum nobis enarremus. eadem nocte revelatum Andreae ex apostolis, ut recognoscentibus cunctis, Iohannes suo nomine cuncta describeret. et ideo licet varia singulis evangeliorum libris principia doceantur nihil tamen differt credentium fidei, cum uno ac principali spiritu declarata sint in omnibus omnia de nativitate, de passione, de resurrectione de conversatione cum discipulis suis, et de gemino eius adventu, primun in humilitate despectus, quod fuit, secundum postestate regali praeclarum, quod futurum est. quid erso mirum, si Iohannes tam constanter singula etiam in epistolis suis proferat dicens in semetipso Quae vidimus oculis nostris, et auribus audivimus, et manus nostrae palpaverunt, haec scripsimus vobis. Sic enim non solum visorem, sed et auditorem, sed et scriptorem omnium mirabilium Domini per ordinem profitetur.
Acta autem omnium apostolorum sub uno libro scripta sunt. Lucas "optimo Theophilo" comprehendit, quae sub praesentia eius singula gerebantur, sicut et remote passionem Petri evidenter declarat, sed et profectionem Pauli ab urbe ad Spaniam proficiscentis.
Epistolae autem Pauli, quae, a quo loco, vel qua ex causa directae sint, volentibus intelligere ipsae declarant, primum omnium Corinthiis schisma haeresis interdicens, deinceps Galatia circumcisionem, Romanis autem ordine scripturarum, sed et principium earum esse Christum intimans, prolixius scripsit; de quibus singulis necesse est a nobis disputari; cum ipse beatus Apostolus Paulus sequens prodecessoris sui Iohannis ordinem, nonnisi nominatim septem ecclesiis scribat ordine tali: ad Corinthios prima, ad Ephesios secunda, ed Philippenses tertia, ad Colossenses quarta, ad Galatas quinta, ad Thessalonicensibus sexta, ad Romansos septima. verum Corinthiis, et Thessalonicensibus licet pro correptione iteretur, una tamen per omnem orbem terrae ecclesia diffusa esse denoscitur. et Iohannes enim in Apocalypsi licet septem ecclesiis scribat, tamen omnibus dicit. verum ad Philemonem unam, et ad Titum unam, et ad Timotheum duas pro affectu et dilectione; in honore tamen ecclesiae catholicae, in ordinatione ecclesiasticae disciplinae sanctificatae sunt. fertur etiam ad Ladoicenses, alia ad Alexandrinos, Pauli nomine fictae ad haeresem Marcionis, et alia plura, quae in catholicam ecclesiam recipi non potest; fel enim cum melle misceri non congruit.
Epistola sane Iudae, et superscriptio Iohannis duas in catholica habentur; et Sapientia ab amicis Salomonis in honorem ipsius scripta, apocalypses etiam Iohannis, et Petri, tantum recipimus, quam quidam ex nostris legi in ecclesia nolunt. Pastorem vero nuperrime temporibus nostris in Urbe Roma Hermas conscripsit, sedente cathedra Urbis Romae ecclesiae Pio Episcopo fratre eius; et ideo legi eum quidem oportet, se publicare vero in ecclesia populo, neque inter Prophetas, completum numero, neque inter apostolos, in finem temporum potest.
Arsinoi autem, seu Valentini, vel Miltiadis nihil in totum recipimus. qui etiam novum Psalmorum librum Marcioni conscripserunt una cum Basilide Assianum Catafrygum constitutorem. . . .
...at which he was present and so set it down. The third Gospel book, According to Luke. This physician Luke after the ascension of Christ (for Paul had taken him with him as a travel companion), wrote it in his own name, according to his thinking. Nor did he see the Lord in the flesh. And thus, as he was able to determine, he also begins to tell the story of the birth of John. The fourth of the Gospels: of John, one of the disciples. When his fellow disciples and bishops urged him, he said, Fast with me from today for three days, and whatever will be revealed to each one, we will tell to each other. In the same night, it was revealed to Andrew, one of the apostles that, with all reviewing, John should write down all in his own name. And, so, though in each of the Gospels different principles are taught, it nevertheless makes no difference to the faith of the believers, since all things in all are declared by the one princely Spirit: on Nativity, on Passion, on Resurrection, on conversation with his disciples, and on His double Advent, the first despised in humility, which has happened, the second in glorious royal power, which is to happen. What wonder, then, if John so constantly brings forth such in his letters, saying, "What we have seen with our eyes, and heard with (our) ears, and our hands have touched, these have we written to you." For so he professes to be not only an eyewitness, and also a hearer, but also a writer of all the wonders of the Lord in order.
The Acts of all the apostles, however, were written in one book. Luke, for "most excellent Theophilus," describes certain things that happened in his presence, also evidently relates the passion of Peter, and also Paul's departure from the City in proceeding to Spain.
However, the letters of Paul themselves describe, for those willing to know, from which place, and for what reason they were sent: first of all to the Corinthians, forbidding the heresy of schism; therafter to the Galatians, (forbidding) circumcision; to the Romans, however, he wrote at length, making known by the order of Scriptures also that Christ is their principle. (?) We must discuss these separately, for the blessed apostle Paul himself, following the order of his predecessor John, he wrote to only seven churches by name, in the following order: first to the Corinthians, second to the Ephesians, third to the Philippians, fourth to the Colossians, fifth to the Galatians, sixth to the Thessalonians, and seventh to the Romans. Although he wrote twice to the Corinthians and Thessalonians for reproof, nevertheless one church spread throughout the whole world is made known. For John also, though in the Apocalypse he writes to seven churches, yet he speaks to all. But to Philemon one, and to Titus one, and to Timothy two, for the sake of affection and love. Nevertheless, these are held sacred in the honor of the universal church, for the ordering of church discipline. There are also extant (one) to the Laodiceans, another to the Alexandrians, forged in the name of Paul for the heresy of Marcion, and many others, which cannot be received in the universal church: gall must not be mixed with honey.
Truly, the letter of Jude, the the two titled "of John" are accepted in the universal (church); also Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his honor; indeed we receive the apocalypses of John and of Peter both, although some of us do not want them read in church. The Shepherd was written by Hermas very near to our time in the City of Rome, while his brother Bishop Pius was sitting on the throne of the church of the City of Rome. And therefore it should indeed be read, but certainly not publicly in the church to the people, neither among the Prophets, whose number is complete, nor among the apostles, whose time is ended. (?)
However, we receive nothing at all of Arsinous, or Valentinus, or Miltiades. Those also who wrote a new Book of Psalms for Marcion, with Basilides of Asia, the founder of the Cataphrygians....