The Chronology of Christ's Baptism, Nativity, and Ministry



Editor's note: Here follows an excerpt of the Panarion of Epiphanius (A.D. 310-403). A "panarion" is a "medicine cabinet" and represents Epiphanius' cupboard of doctrinal curatives against heresy. In this excerpt, Epiphanius addresses a sect that denied the canonicity of the gospel of John, and, in so doing, provides a harmony of the gospels and a chronology of the life and ministry of Christ. Most importantly, Epiphanius fixes Jesus' baptism to early November, followed by his 30th birthday sometime after his wilderness fast and temptation. In the present work, Epiphanius argues that Jesus' birthday fell on the day of Epiphany, January 6th, sixty days after his baptism November 6th. Belief that Jesus was born January 6th long prevailed in the Eastern church, but was abandoned toward the end of the fourth century in favor of December 25th, as we read in John Chrysostom.  According to John of Nice, before the close of the fourth century, Epiphanius also adopted the view that December 25th was the correct date. The same source also gives November 8th (Heshvan 15) as the date Epiphanius settled on for Christ's baptism, probably reckoned backward 3 1/2 years (42 lunar months) from Jesus' death Nisan 15, A.D. 33.[1] Because January 6th is only 12 days from the received date of Christ's birth, Epiphanius' chronology is valuable for establishing the chronology of the early ministry and nativity of Christ.




Against the sect which does not accept the Gospel according to John, and his Revelation.[2] 31, but 51 of the series


1, 1 Following these sects—after the Phrygians and Quintillianists and the ones called Quartodecimans—another sect sprang up. It is like a snake without much strength, which cannot stand the odor of dittany—that is, storax—or of frankincense or southernwood, or the smell of pitch, incense, lignite or hartshorn. (2) For those who are familiar with them say that these substances have the effect of driving poisonous snakes away; and some call dittany “tittany” (tiktomnon) because professional physicians use it as an aid for women in childbirth (tiktouswn). I may thus appropriately compare it with the divine Word who descended from the heavens, and has been begotten of the Father outside of time and without beginning. 

1, 3 Solomon says of a foolish, worthless woman, “She hateth a word of sureness. These people too have hated the surenesses[3] of the Gospel, since they are of the earth and angry with the heavens. (4) Therefore, for fear of the Holy Spirit’s voice which says, ‘The voice of the Lord restoreth the hinds,”[4] <they reject his proclamation of the divine Word> who told his servants and apostles, “Lo, I have given you power to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy."[5] (5) For this is the voice; that restores the hinds, the voice which resounded in the world through the holy apostles and evangelists, to trample on the devil's opposition. One of these, St. John, checked this with the utmost effectiveness, and tried the power of the deceived, and of the snakelike heretics.  

2, 1 But they will not prevail in the ark. The holy Noah is ordered by God’s direction to make the ark secure (epasfalisasqai), God says to him, “Thou shalt pitch (asfaltwseis) it within and without”[6]—to prefigure God’s holy church, which has the power of pitch, which drives the horrid, baneful, snake-like teachings away. For where pitch is burned, no snake can remain. (2) The holy storax incense stuns them, and they avoid its sweet odor. And the power of southernwood or frankincense <drives them away> if it grows down over the serpent itself and sprouts above its den.  

2, 3 For in the place—I mean Asia—where Ebion, Cerinthus and their supporters preached that Christ is a mere man and the product of sexual intercourse, the Holy Spirit caused this sacred plant or shrub to sprout, and it has driven the serpent away and destroyed the devil’s tyranny. (4) For in his old age St. John was J told by the Holy Spirit to preach there,[7] and bring back those who had lost their way on the journey—[bring them], not by force but of their own free choice, by revealing to the obedient the divine  light in God’s holy teaching. (5) But how long shall I go on? It is a fact that no snake can remain or have its den where southernwood grows; and where God’s true teaching is, a den of snake-like teaching cannot prevail but will be destroyed.  

3, 1 Now these Alogi say—this is what I call them. They shall be so called from now on, and let us give them this name, beloved, Alogi. (2) For they believed in the heresy for which <that> name <was a good one>, since it rejects the books by John. As they do not accept the Word which John preaches, they shall be called Dumb (Alogi). (3) As complete strangers to the truth’s message they deny its purity, and accept neither John’s Gospel nor his Revelation. 

3, 4 And if they accepted the Gospel but rejected the Revelation, I would say they might be doing it from scrupulousness, and refusing to accept an “apocryphon” because of the deep and difficult sayings in the Revelation. (5) But since they do not accept the books  in which St. John actually proclaimed his Gospel, it must be plain to everyone that they and their kind are the ones of whom St. John said in his General Epistles, “It is the last hour and ye have heard that Antichrist cometh; even now, lo, there are many Antichrists"[8] (6) For they offer excuses [for their behavior]. Knowing as they do, that St. John was an apostle and the Lord’s beloved, that the Lord rightly revealed the mysteries to him, and <that he> leaned upon his breast, they are ashamed to contradict him and try to object to these mysteries for a different reason. For they say they are not John’s composition but Cerinthus’, and have no a place in the church.  

4, 1 And it can be shown at once, from this very attack, that they understand neither what they say nor whereof they affirm.”[9] How can the words which are directed against Cerinthus be by Cerinthus? (2) Cerinthus says that Christ is of recent origin and a mere man, while John has proclaimed that <he> is the eternal Word, and has come from on high and been made flesh. From the very outset, then, their worthless quibble is exposed as foolish, and unaware of its own refutation. (3) For they appear to believe what we do; but because they do not hold to the certainties of the message God has revealed to us through St John, they will be convicted of shouting against the truth about things which they do not know. (4) They will be known to them, though, if they choose to sober up and take notice; I am not discarding the teachings of the Holy Spirit in all their importance and certainty. 

4, 5 For they say against themselves—I prefer not to say, “against the truth”—that John’s books do not agree with the other apostles.[10] And now they think they can attack his holy, inspired teaching. (6) “And what did he say?” they argue. “‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.'"[11] And, ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we knew his glory, glory as of an only Son of a Father, full of grace and truth.'[12] (7) And immediately afterwards, 'John bare witness; and cried, saying, This he of whom I spake unto you,'[13] and, ‘This is the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world."[14]  

"And next he says, 'They that heard him said, Rabbi, where, dwellest thou?’[15] and in the same breath, (8) ‘On the morrow Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.’[16] (9) And shortly thereafter he says, ‘And after three days there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and Jesus was called, and his disciples,  to the marriage supper, and his mother was there.’[17] (10) But the other evangelists say that he spent forty days in the wilderness tempted by the devil, and then came back and chose his disciples.”  

4, 11 And stupid as they are, they don’t know that each evangelist was concerned to say what the others had said, in agreement with them, while at the same time revealing what they had not said, but had omitted. For the will was not theirs; both their order and their teaching came from the Holy Spirit. (12) If our opponents want to attack john, they must learn that the other three did not begin with the same sequence of events. For Matthew was the first to become an evangelist. He was directed to issue the Gospel first. (I have spoken largely of this in another Sect;[18] however, I shall not mind dealing with the same things again as proof of the truth and in refutation of the erring.) (5,1) As I said, Matthew was privileged to be the first <to issue> the Gospel, and this was absolutely right. Because he had repented of many sins, and had risen from the receipt of custom and followed Him who came for man’s salvation and said, “I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance"[19] it was Matthew’s duty to present the message of salvation <first>, as an example for us, who would be saved like this man who was restored in the tax office and turned from his iniquity. From him men would learn of the graciousness of Christ’s advent. 

5, 2 For after the forgiveness of his sins it was granted him to raise the dead, cleanse leprosy, and work miracles of healing and cast out devils, so that he would not merely persuade his hearers by his speech, but publish[20] good tidings with actual deeds—[publish] the tidings of their salvation through repentance, to the perishing; the tidings that they would arise, to the fallen; and the tidings that they would-be quickened, to the dead. 

5, 3 Matthew himself wrote and issued the Gospel in the Hebrew alphabet, and did not begin at the beginning, but traced Christ’s pedigree from Abraham. “Abraham begat Isaac,” he said, “and Isaac begat Jacob,”[21] and so on down to Joseph and Mary. (4) And he wrote at the beginning, "The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David,” and then said, “the son of Abraham.”[22] Then, coming to his main point, he said, “The birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together she was found with child of the Holy Ghost (5) And Joseph, being a just man, sought to put her away privily. And lo, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying Put not away thy wife; for that which is conceived in her is of Holy Ghost. (6) For lo, she shall bear a son, and thou cal his name Jesus. He shall save his people from their sins. And this was done,” he said, “to fulfill that which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold the virgin shall be with child,”[23] and so on. 

5, 7 “And Joseph,” he said, “being raised from sleep, did so and took unto him his wife, and knew her not till she brought forth her first-born son, and he called his name Jesus. (8) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.”[24] 

5, 9 Now then, where is the story of Zacharias? Where are the subjects Luke discussed? Where is the vision of the angel? Where is John the Baptist's prophecy? Where is the rebuke of Zacharias, so that he could not speak until the angel’s words had come true?  

5, 10 Where are the things that Gabriel told the Virgin? Where is his reassurance, when Mary answered the angel himself with wisdom and asked, “How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”[25] And where is his accurate and clear explanation, "The Spirit of the Lord shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee?”[26] 

6, 1 Well, what shall I say? Because Matthew did not report the events which Luke related, can St. Matthew be at odds with the truth? Or is St. Luke not telling the truth, because he has said <nothing> about the first things Matthew dealt with? (2) Didn’t God give each evangelist his own assignment, so that each of the four evangelists whose duty was to proclaim the Gospel could find what he was to do and proclaim some things in agreement and alike to show that they were from the same source, but otherwise[27] describe what another had omitted, as each received his proportionate share from the Spirit?  

6, 3 Now what shall we do? Matthew declares that Mary gave birth in Bethlehem <and> <shows> Christ’s incarnation  in Abraham’s and David’s line. St. Mark, we find, says none of this; (4) he introduces the Gospel with the affair at the Jordan and says ‘The beginning of the Gospel, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet, A voice of one crying in the wilderness.”[28] (5) <Is Mark lying, then? Of course not! There was no reason for him to repeat information which had already been given>. Similarly, the things St. John discussed, and confirmed in the Holy Spirit, were not just meant to repeat what had already been proclaimed, but to speak of the teachings the others had had to leave to  John. 

6, 6 For the whole essence of the Gospel was of this nature. After Matthew had proclaimed Christ’s generation, his conception through the Holy Spirit, <and> his incarnation as a descendant of David and Abraham, an error arose in those who did not

understood the narrative which was intended in good faith to provide assurance of these things from the Gospel. (Not that the Gospel is responsible for their error; their own wrong notion was.) (7) And this was why Cerinthus and Ebion held that Christ was a mere man, and <misled> Merinthus,[29] Cleobius”[30] or Cleobulus,”[31] Claudius, Demass[32] and Henriogenes,”[33] who had loved this world and left the way, of the truth. (8) For they contradicted the Lord’s disciples at  that time, and tried to use the genealogy from Abraham and David  as proof of their nonsense—not in good faith, but seizing on it as an excuse. (9) For they were often contradicted by St. John and his friends, Leucius and many others. But shamelessness struck its forehead, and did its best to bring its own woes on itself. 

6, 10 Mark, who came directly after Matthew, was ordered to issue the Gospel by St. Peter at Rome, and after writing it was sent by Peter to Egypt. (11) He one of the seventy-two who had been dispersed because of the Lord's saying, “Unless a man eat my flesh and drink my blood, he is not worthy of me”[34] —as <can be> proved to the readers of the Gospels. Still, after his restoration by Peter he was privileged to proclaim the Gospel by the Holy Spirit's inspiration. 

6, 12 He began his proclamation where the Spirit told him, and opened it in the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar, thirty years after Matthew's account. (13) Since he was a second evangelist, and gave no clear indication of the divine Word’s descent from on high—he does it vividly everywhere, but not with as much precision [as Matthew] — these misguided people had their perceptions darkened  a second time, and   were not held worthy of the Gospel’s illumination. (14) "Look" they said, “here is a second Gospel too with an account of Christ where does it say that his generation is heavenly. "Instead," they said, “the Spirit descended upon him in the Jordan and <there was> a voice, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.'"[35] 

7, 1 Since this was these stupid people’s state of mind, the Holy Spirit compelled and urged St Luke to raise their misguided minds from the lowest depths, as it were, and once again take up what the other evangelists had omitted. (2) <But> lest some misguided person should think his description of Christ’s generation fictitious, he carried the matter back, and for accuracy’s sake went through his whole account in the fullest detail. (3) And he produced those who had been ministers of the word as his witnesses in support of the truth; and he said, “Inasmuch as many have attacked,”[36] to show that there were attackers—I mean Cerinthus, Merinthus and the others. 

7, 4 What does he say next? “It seemed good to me, having attended closely to them which from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word, to write unto thee, most excellent Theophilus”—whether he said this because he was then writing someone named Theophilus, or to every lover of God—“<that thou mayest know> the certainty of the things wherein thou hast been instructed.”[37] (5) And he said that the instruction was already written, as though Theophilus had already been instructed by other but had not learned the exact truth from them with certainty. 

7, 6 Next he says, "There was in the days of Herod the king a priest named Zacharias of the course of the high priest Abijah, and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth."[38] (7) And he begins before Matthew. Matthew had, indicated a period of thirty years from the beginning, while Mark—like Matthew and Luke—had set down what happened after <the> thirty years, the true occurrence at the Jordan. (8) But Matthew began his account thirty years before the event at the Jordan and the baptism. Luke, on the other hand, described the six month period before the Savior’s conception, and again, the period of the nine months plus a few days following the conception of the Lord, so that the entire period of time [described in Luke] is thirty-one years and more.  

7, 9 Luke also describes the shepherds’ vision, [which was shown them] by the angels who brought them the tidings. And he describes how Christ was born in Bethlehem, laid in a manger in swaddling clothes, and circumcised the eighth day; and how they made an offering for him forty days later in obedience to the Law, Simeon took <him> in his arms, and Anna the daughter of Phanuel gave thanks for him; and how he went away to Nazareth and returned to Jerusalem each year with his parents, who made the offerings for him that the Law required. But neither Matthew nor Mark has dealt with any of this, and certainly not John. 

8, 1 And so, in the course of their refutations of the Gospel account, certain other Greek philosophers—I mean Porphyry, Celsus,[39] and that dreadful, deceitful serpent of Jewish extraction, Philosabbatius—accuse the holy apostles, though they [themselves] are natural and carnal, make war by fleshly means and cannot please God, and have not understood <the things which have been said > by the Spirit.  

8, 2 Tripping over the words of the truth because of the blindness of their ignorance, each <of them> lit upon this point and and said "How can the day of his birth in Bethlehem have a circumcision eight days after it, and forty days later the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the things Simeon and Anna did for him, (3) when an angel appeared to him the night he was born, after the arrival of the magi who came to worship him, and who opened their bags and offered him gifts? As it says, 'An angel appeared to him saying, take thy wife and the young child and go unto Egypt, for Herod seeketh the young child's life!'[40] (4) Now then, if he was to Egypt the very night he was born and was there until Herod died, how can he stay [in Bethlehem] for eight days and be circumcised? Or how can Luke <fail to> be caught in a lie <when he tell us that Jesus was brought to Jerusalem after> forty days"? —so they say in blasphemy against their own heads, because he says "On the fortieth day they brought him to Jerusalem and <returned> to Nazareth from there.”[41]

9, 1 Their ignorance they do not know the power of the Holy Spirit; for he granted each evangelist to describe the true events of each time and season. And Matthew reported only Christ’s Holy Spirit and conception without a man's seed, but said nothing about circumcision, or the two years—any of the thing that happened to him after his birth. (2) Instead, as the true word of God bears witness, he describes the coming as the true word of God bears witness, he describes the coming of the magi. For Herod asked the magi for the time, and demanded the exact time of the star’s appearance, and Matthew gave the magi’s answer, that it was no more than two years before. Thus this period of time is not the period Luke treats of.  

9, 3 Luke, however, describes the events before <the> two years—whereas Matthew spoke of Christ’s birth and then skipped to the time two years later and indicated what happened after <the> two years. (4) And so, when Herod deliberated after the magi's departure by another route, he assumed that < the > new-born child himself would be found among all the other children and killed along with them. (5) For he ordered the killing of all the children in the vicinity of Bethlehem who had been two years old or less on the very day the magi came to him. Who, then, can fail to realize that the child who had been born was two years old when the magi came? 

9,6 Indeed, the account itself clarifies everything. For Luke says ‘that the child was swaddled as soon as he was born, and lay in a manger and cave because there was no room in the inn. (7) “For a census was then underway, and the people who had been scattered at the time of the wars in the Maccabees’ time were dispersed all over the world, and very few had continued to livr in Bethlehem. And thus Bethlehem is called the city of David in one copy of the Evangelists, while in another it calls it a village because it had come to occupy a small area. (8) But when the emperor Augustus’ order was issued, and those who had been dispersed had to go to Bethlehem for enrollment because of their family origins, the influx of the multitudes filled the place, because of the crowding there was no room in the inn. 

9, 9 But then, after the census, each one went back to his own place of abode, and room was made in Bethlehem. (10) Now when <the> first year was over and the second year had passed, Christ's parents came from Nazareth to Bethlehem as though to the original gathering—coming as a sort of memorial of the events in Bethlehem. (11) Thus the magi’s arrival was on this occasion, probably not during Mary’s and Joseph’s visit because of the census, which Luke mentions. For the magi did not find Mary in the cavern where she gave birth; as the Gospel says the star led them to the place where the young child was. (12) And they entered the house and found the baby with Mary—no longer in a manger, no longer in a cave, but in a house—showing the exact truth and the two-year interval, that is, from Christ’s birth until the arrival of the magi. 

9, 13 And the angel appeared that night, two years after the birth, and said to take the mother and child to Egypt. Thus Joseph did not go back again to Nazareth but escaped to Egypt with the child and his mother, and spent another two years there. And so, after Herod’s death, the angel <appeared> again <and> sent them back to Judaea.  

10, 1 The Lord was born in the thirty-third year of Herod, the magi came in the thirty-fifth, and in the thirty-seventh year Herod died and his son Archelaus inherited the throne and reigned for nine years, as I have already said in other places."[42] (2) When Joseph heard of Archelaus he returned and went to Nazareth to make his home, and from there, in turn, went each year to Jerusalem.  

10, 3 Do you see the precision as to every event that is found in the sacred Gospels? But because the ignorant have blinded their own minds and do not know the intent of each saying, they simply shout and rave against the holy <evangelists>, saying nothing truthful but depriving themselves of life.  

l0, 4 And then, after the first part of his narrative, Luke tells in turn how Christ went to Jerusalem in his twelfth year, leaving opportunity for those who think, as Cerinthus, Ebion and the rest supposed, that Christ simply appeared in the world as a grown man and came to the Jordan to John. (5) For the serpent is a deceitful one, crawls a crooked course, and does not stand by one opinion; some suppose that Christ was engendered by sexual congress and a man's seed, but others, that he simply appeared as a grown man. 

10, 6 And this is why the holy evangelists write with precision, describing everything in exact detail. As though raising his mind to the heavens, Luke expressly said, “And Jesus began to be about thirty years of age, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.[43] (7) Supposition is not fact; Joseph was in the position of a father to Jesus because this pleased God, but since he had no relations with Mary he was not his father. (8) He was simply called her husband because he was espoused to her as an old man of about eighty, with six sons (sic!)[44] by his actual first wife. But he was given this charge, as I have explained more precisely elsewhere. Without conjugal relations, how could he be Christ’s father? This is not possible. 

11, 1 But you will ask me, if he did not have her, why was he was called her husband? Whoever doubts this does not know the Law’s provision that once a woman is designated a man’s wife, she is called the wife of the man so designated, even though she is a virgin and still in her father’s house. And thus the holy angel said, “Fear not to take unto thee thy wife."[45] 

11, 2 And lest it be thought that <there is> some error in the Gospels—for the mystery is awesome and beyond human telling, and only to the Holy Spirit’s children is the statement of it plain and clear—(3) <he says>, “He was about thirty years old, supposedly the son of Joseph, the son of Eli, the son of Matthan,"[46] and traces his ancestry to Abraham, where Matthew began. But he goes past Noah and comes to Adam, to indicate the first man, who was sought for by the One who came from his clay—that is, the One who came from the holy Virgin Mary. (4) (For Christ has come for that first man, and for those of his descendants who desire to inherit eternal life.)  

And he goes past Adam and says, “Son of God.”[47] (5) From this at length, it was perfectly plain that he was the Son of God, but that he had come in the flesh as Adam’s lineal descendant. But once more the misguided did not see the light; in their self-deceit <and their preference of falsehood> to truth, they disputed the statement. (6) “Here is a third Gospel, Luke’s,” they said (for Luke was given this commission. He too was one of the seventy-two who had been scattered because of the Savior’s saying. But he was brought back to the Lord by St Paul and told to issue his Gospel. And he preached in Dalmatia, Gaul, Italy and Macedonia first, but originally in Gaul, as Paul says of certain of his followers in his epistles, “Crescens is in Gau1.”[48] It does not say, “in Galatia," as some wrongly believe, but “in Gaul.”) 

12, 1 But to return to the subject Although Luke had trade Christ’s pedigree from its end to its beginning and reached the point where, to turn the misguided from their error, he hinted at the divine Word’s advent and simultaneous union with his human nature, they did not understand. (2) Later, therefore, though caution and humility he had declined to be an evangelist, the Holy Spirit compelled John to issue the Gospel in his old age when he was past ninety, after his return from Patmos under Claudius Caesar and several years of his residence in Asia. 

12, 3 And John did not need to speak in detail of the [Savior’s] advent; that had already been confirmed. But, as though he were following behind people and saw them in front of him choosing very rough, circuitous, thorny paths, John was concerned to recall them to the straight way, and took care to call out to them for their protection, “Why are you going wrong? Which turn are you taking? Where are you wandering off to, Cerinthus, Ebion and the rest? It is not as you suppose. 

12, 4 “Sure, plainly Christ was conceived in the flesh; look, I confess myself that the Word was made flesh. But don’t suppose that he existed only from the time when he was made flesh. He doesn’t exist from Mary’s time only, as each of us exists from the time of our conception, but not before. (5) The holy divine Word, the Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, isn’t just from Mary’s time, or just from Joseph’s time, or Eli’s, Levi’s, Zorubbabel’s, Shea1tiel’s, Nathan’s, David’s, Jacob’s or Isaac’s. And not just from the time of Abraham, Noah or Adam, or the fifth day of creation, the fourth, the third, the second, or the beginning of heaven and earth, or the beginning of the universe. 

“No, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made'[49] and so on. (7) And then, ‘There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all men through him might believe. He was not the light, but was sent to bear witness of the light. The true light, that lighteneth every man, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, who were born not of blood and flesh, but of God. (8) And the Word was made flesh,’ he said, ‘and dwelt among us. John bare witness of him and cried saying, This is he of who I spake unto you, and Of his fullness we have an received'[50] And he said, I am not the Christ, but the voice of one crying in the wilderness.’”[51]  

13, 1 And when he describes all this he says, “These things were done in Bethabara”—“Bethany” in other copies—“beyond Jordan,"[52] And after this he states that John’s disciples asked Jesus, Rabbi, where dwellest thou? And he said, Come and see. And they went, and remained with him that day.”[53] (3) And the next day “It was about the tenth hour; one of the two which had followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first findeth his own brother Simon and saith unto him, We have found Messiah, which is, being interpreted, Christ. He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looking on him saith, Thou art Simon the son of Jonah; thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation Peter. 

13,4 “On the morrow he would go forth into Galilee and findeth Philip, and Jesus saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip findeth Nathanael and saith unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the Law, and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip said unto him, Come and see. (5) Jesus seeing Nathanael come unto him saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile. Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree I saw thee. Nathanael answered him and said, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the king of Israel. (6) Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Verily, verily I say unto you, Ye shall see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man. (7) And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee,"[54] and so on.  

All this will show that he came back to the Jordan after the forty days of the temptation, his return from the temptation itself, his start for Nazareth and Galilee, as the other three evangelists have said. (8) This will also be shown by the words of John [the Baptist], “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”[55] And on another day, as he saw him on his way, he said, “This is he of whom I said unto you, He that cometh after me is preferred before me, for he was before me.”[56] “And John bore witness,” it says, “I saw the Spirit in the form of a dove descending and coming upon him.”[57]   

13, 9 “Bare witness” and “This is he of whom I said unto you," suggest that John is speaking of two different times already past, to show that this is not the same as the time of the baptism, but a different one. (10) For Jesus did not go straight to John from the temptation, but went to Galilee first and then from Galilee to the Jordan, making this <his second meeting> with John. And so John says, “This was he of whom I said unto you;” and the  Gospel goes on to say, “And John bare witness, I saw”—as though the thing had already taken place some time before. 

14, 1 The beginning of Peter’s and Andrew's call is shown after this. For Andrew went to visit Jesus—one of the two who followed him, who were John’s disciples but still lived in Galilee and now and then spent time with John. (2) And just after Andrew had stayed with him that day—it was about the sixth hour—he happened to meet his brother Simon that very same day, and said the words I have already mentioned, “We have found the Messiah.” And he brought him to the Lord and so on, as the sequel—that Jesus told him, "Thou shalt be called Cephas”—indicates.  

14, 3 “And the day following,” it says, "Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me. Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.”[58] (4) And you see that this allows me to suppose—of the two disciples of John who had followed Jesus[59] he gave only the name of the one, Andrew, but did not give the name of the other. (5) This makes me think that, because they came from the same place, lived together, had the same trade and worked together, this disciple whose name he did  not give was either John or James, < but> one of the sons of Zebedee. (6) For they should have been called first and then Philip, according to the order in the Gospels: Peter first, then Andrew, the James, then John, and Philip after these. But never mind this now; there is a great deal of followup to this matter. 

15, l But it is time to return to the subject <and point out> that, obviously, just as they <continued> to practice their trade and attend to their discipleship while they were disciples of John, so after spending their first day with Jesus, they went back the next day and fished, as the course of the other Gospels indicates. (2) For after Jesus left on the following day, the sequel [in John] says at once, “On the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. And Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.”[60] (3) But from both these precise statement and the subject of them, we are given to understand that Jesus had also brought other disciples who [unlike Peter and the others] had remained with him—perhaps Nathanael and Philip, and some others. Andrew and the rest had left, but those who had remained with him were also invited to the wedding.  

15, 4 And after performing this first miracle he went down to Capernaum and made his home there. And then he began to perform other miracles there—when he healed the man’s withered hand, and Peter’s mother-in-law as well. (5) (Peter was from Bethsaida but had married a woman from Capernaum, for the two places are not far apart. Jesus cured Peter’s mother-in-law of fever and, because she was cured, she waited on them, so that the sequence of events is <plain>.) 

15, 6 And after this he returned to Nazareth where he had been been brought up. He then read the roll of the prophet Isaiah, and afterwards anticipated them himself and said, “Ye will surely say unto me this parable, Physician, heal thyself. What signs we have, heard have been done in Capemaum, do also here in thy country.”[61] And do you see the truthfulness of what follows? “And he did nothing[62] because of their unbelief.”[63] 

15, 7 From there he went to Capernaum and settled there once more. And going to the sea, as Matthew says, he saw Simon Peter and his brother Andrew casting their nets—and, once again, James and John the sons of Zebedee. And he called them for good, and they finally threw their nets away and followed him. 

15, 8 And Luke also makes it quite clear that at last they followed him for good and no longer put their call off. He says “When he was come unto the lake Gennesareth he saw Simon Peter and Andrew mending their nets, and he entered into ship which was Simon Peter’s and Andrew’s”[64]—and this meant that he already knew them, and they allowed this out of habit—and he boarded it and sat down. (9) When he told Peter, after his teaching, “Launch out into the deep and let down your nets,"[65] and they said, “Master,"[66] they were already calling him Master because of John’s testimony. For they had heard, “Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world”[67] said < of > him on a previous occasion, and had spent the one day with him. (10) And they went out for their second and later catch, when they were amazed at the number of the fish, and Peter said, “Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”[68] (Perhaps, indeed, he was sorry, because he had been called before and had gone back to his fish and the whole business of fishing.) (11) But to hearten him Jesus said, “Fear not;” he had not been rejected but could still lay claim to his call. For Jesus said, “From henceforth thou shalt catch men”[69] when they motioned their partners in the other boat to come and help with the catch. (12) For as it says, they were Simon’s partners; I have mentioned this already because of the two who had followed Jesus <and> heard John say, <“Behold the Lamb of God.”>[70]One of these two was Andrew, <as> I said, and I have a very good notion that the other, in turn, might have been one of the sons of Zebedee, because they were co-workers, in the same business, and partners.  

15, 13 And then, as it says, after all this the four left their boats _  E and simply threw everything down and followed him, as Luke testifies. (14) And thus it is fully demonstrated that there is no obscurity or contradiction in the holy Gospels or between the evangelists, but that everything is plain. (15) There are, however, differences of time. For from this time forward, after Peter, John and the others had finally joined and followed him, he went teaching throughout Galilee and Judaea. And then, as the Gospel became widespread, he performed the rest of the miracles. Thus the overall order of events is this:  

16, 1 First, he was baptized on the twelfth of the Egyptian month Athyr, the sixth before the Ides of November in the Roman calendar.[71] (In other words, he was baptized a full sixty days before the Epiphany, which is the day of his birth in the flesh, (2) as the Gospel according to Luke testifies, Jesus began to be about years old, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.”[72] Actually, he was twenty-nine years and ten months old—thirty years old but not quite when he came for his baptism. This is why it says, “began to be about thirty years old.” Then he was sent into the wilderness. Those forty days of the temptation appear next, and the slightly more than two weeks—[two weeks] and two days—which he spent after his return from the temptation to Galilee, that is, to Nazareth and its vicinity. (4) And one day when he went to John—the day John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”[73] And the next day <when> John, again, stood, and two of his disciples, and looking upon Jesus as he walked, said, "Behold the Christ, the Lamb of God.”[74] Then it, says, "The two disciples heard him and followed Jesus."[75]  

16, 5 As I said, this was the eighteenth day after the temptation, but the first after [Jesus’ encounter with] John, when Andrew and the others followed Jesus and stayed with him that day—it was about the tenth hour—and when Andrew found his brother Simon and brought him to Jesus. (6) Then the Gospel says, “On the morrow the Lord would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.”[76]As the sequence of the Gospel indicates, this was the nineteenth day after the temptation, <and it includes> the call of Philip and Nathanael.  

16, 7 And then, it says, there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee on the third day after the two days I have mentioned which followed; [the encounter with] John. Now if the twenty days are added to the forty days of the temptation, this makes two months. And when these are combined with the ten months they make a year, or, in other words, a full thirty years from the birth of the Lord. (8) And we find that Christ performed his first miracle, the changing the water into wine, at the end of his thirtieth year, as you must realize if you follow the orders of the events in the Gospels closely. (9) And then, after this first miracle, he performed the other miracle and presented his teaching, showing his wondrous, inexpressible lovingkindness to all, and the wonderworking in the Gospels—I have often been obliged to say because of the ignorance of the misguided people who venture to contradict the Gospels’ accurate account, as it is set forth in order by the Holy Spirit. 

17, 1 This amount of accurate demonstration will leave no room for those who are their own opponents—I won’t say, the truth because they can’t be. (2) For it is plain that the beginning the rest of the affair follows the baptism. Thus it is shown that the Lord underwent the forty day temptation in the wilderness after the day of the baptism, even though the Holy Spirit saw no need to make this known through John; it had already been indicated by the three evangelists. (3) And again, the other evangelists were not concerned with the other matters, since each is assisted by each. For when the truth is gathered from all the evangelists it is shown to be one, and not in conflict with itself. 

17, 4 For directly after the temptation, as I said, he went from the wilderness to Nazareth and stayed there, and no disciples were with him as yet. And from there he went down to John, and at once Peter was called through Andrew, and Nathanael through Philip. (5) But even though he sees that Andrew met Jesus first and then Peter was called, and through Andrew at that, no one need to waste his time on doubts about this as well, and begin to be distressed about it. (6) Andrew met Jesus first because Andrew was younger n years than Peter. But later, in turn, when they renounced the world for good, it was at Peter’s instance. For he was his brother’s mentor; and the Lord knew this, for he is God, understands the inclinations of hearts, knows who is worthy to be ranked first, and chose Peter for the head of his disciples, as has been plainly shown everywhere. 

17, 7 Afterwards they came and stayed with him the first day, as I said , they travelled on the second, and on the third day came his first miracle while some disciples were with him—plainly not Andrew, Peter, James or John, but Nathanael and Philip, and some other. (8) And next, after going to Capernaum and returning to Nazareth, and going back to Capernaum from there and working part of the miracles, he returned to Nazareth once more and read of the prophet Isaiah, where it says, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor,”[77] and so on. This took place some days after the Epiphany.  

17, 9 And after John’s arrest he returned to Capernaum and at last made that his residence; and the final call of Peter, John and their brothers came at this time, when Jesus came [to them], beside the lake of Gennesareth. And thus the entire sequence of events [in the Gospels] is harmonized and contains no contradictions; the whole Gospel account is completely clear and has been truthfully given. 

17, 10 Then what has gotten into these people <who> have their own minds and spewed this sect out on the world, reject the Gospel according to John? I was right to call their sect "Dumb;” they will not accept the divine Word who came from on high, the Word preached by John. (11) Not understanding the meaning of the Gospels they say, “Why have the other evangelists said that Jesus fled to Egypt from Herod, came back after his flight and remained at Nazareth, and then, after receiving the baptism, went into the wilderness, and returned after that, and after his return began to preach? (18, 1) But the Gospel which was issued under John’s name lies,” they say. “After ‘The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’[78] and a few other things, it says at once" that there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee.”  

18, 2 With their deliberate foolishness these people have not! remembered that John <himself>, after saying that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us—or in other words, became man—said that Jesus went to John [the Baptist] at the Jordan and baptized by him. (3) < For> John himself testifies that John the Baptist said, "This is he of whom I said unto you,”[79] “I saw the Holy Spirit descending in the form of a dove and remaining on him,"[80] and, “This is he that taketh away the sin of the world.”[81] 

18, 4 You see that none of this is said from forgetfulness; John has omitted the matters Matthew dealt with. There was no more need for them, but there was for the full explanation, in reply to those who believed that Jesus was called Christ and Son of God only from the time of Mary, and was a mere man earlier, but hail received the title, “Son of God,” as a promotion in rank. (5) Thus in writing his account of Christ’s coming from above, John is concerned with essentials—it is all important and essential, but heavenly things are more so. (6) But these people say that Gospel according to John is non-canonical because it did not mention these events—I mean the events of the forty-day temptation—they do not see fit to accept it, since they are misguided about everything, and mentally blind. 

19,1 The blessed John came fourth in the succession of evangelists. With his brother James he was the first after Peter and Andrew in the order of calling, but he was the last to issue a Gospel. He was not concerned to give information which had been adequately set down before him, but preferred what had not been said to what had been, and discoursed <along those lines>. (2) For Matthew begins with Abraham, but resumes the narrative after the beginning [of Christ's life], and [again] two years after his birth. Mark, however, begins at the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar and says <nothing> of <the> intervening years which follow the beginning. And Luke added a beginning before the beginning, his treatment of Elizabeth and Mary before < they> conceived. 

19, 3 John, however, who was earlier in his calling than they but became an evangelist later, confirms the events before the incarnation. For most of what he said was spiritual, since the fleshly things had already been confirmed. (4) He thus gives a spiritual account[82] of the Gift which came down to us from the Father who has no beginning, <and> of the Father’s good pleasure took flesh in the holy Virgin's womb. (5) And he omitted nothing essential; but by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration he <introduced> the divine Word who was before all ages, begotten of the Father without beginning and not in time, and told of his coming in the flesh for our sakes. And thus we obtain full and precise knowledge, fleshly and divine, from four evangelists. 

20, 1 For when all the events of the baptism and temptation were over and then, as I have often said, Jesus had gone to spend a few days in Nazareth and nearby, and near Capemaum—<and> he had met John at the Jordan <and returned to Galilee>, a few disciples with him on the next day [after his meeting John]—Jesus performed this first miracle in Cana, the third day after [he had met] john but the twentieth after his return from the temptation, and <began> his preaching. (2) For John does not say that Christ went to a wedding before the temptation, or that he worked any of his miracles <before> he started preaching except, perhaps, the ones he is said to have performed as a child. (3) (For he ought to have childhood miracles too, to deprive the other sects of an excuse for saying that "<the> Christ," meaning the dove, came to him after [his baptism in] the Jordan. [83] They say this because of the sum of the letters alpha and which is [the same as the sum of the letters of] “dove,” said, “I am Alpha and I am” Omega.)[84] 

20, 4 This is also why Luke represents Jesus, in his twelfth year, as having asked Mary, “Wist ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?"[85] when she came looking for him, and he was engaged in dispute with the doctors at Jerusalem. (5) This refutes the argument of those who claim that he became the Son of God at the time of his baptism, when the dove, which they say is the Christ, came to him. And it makes it clear that the divine Word came from above and was made flesh of Mary at his coming, and that the Spirit descended upon him in the Jordan, (6) to identify the One of whom the Father testified, "This is my Son, the Beloved, hear ye him.”[86] It was also a sign, to those who would be enlightened in him, that they would be vouchsafed <the> gift of the Holy Spirit in baptism, and, by the grace he gives, the remission of their sins. 

21, 1 And then he began to work his perfect miracles, during, the time of his preaching—<for> it says, "This first miracle did, Jesus in Cana of Galilee.”[87] (2) As I have said many times, this was not before the baptism. It was after his retum from the temptation the third day after the two days John’s two disciples spent with him, the disciples who had heard [John] speak and followed Jesus. (3) Thus, immediately after the two days they spent with him, the Gospel adds, “And he went forth into Galilee and findeth Philip)  and saith unto him, Follow me.”[88]  

21, 4 Then immediately, on the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Since there was a wedding just after he had left Judaea, he was rightly invited in its honor, as a blessing on marriage. (5) And it says, “On the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there, and both Jesus was called, and his disciples who were with him, to the marriage. (6) And when they wanted wine,” it says, “The mother of Jesus saith, They have no wine. And Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what  have I to do with thee? Mine hour is not yet come.”[89] 

21, 7 <This was> after he came from the wilderness following the temptation, and after he had been taken to Jerusalem and stood on the pinnacle of the temple, and had been borne from Jerusalem to a very high mountain which many say is Mt. Tabor, or Itarbion in translation; this mountain is in Galilee. (8) For Matthew, who said, "Jesus, hearing that John was cast into prison, departed into Galilee,”[90] assumed this order of events. (9) But Luke, who also accurately described the departure from the mountain, spoke first of the mountain and the kingdoms the devil showed the Lord and later of the pinnacle and Jerusalem, and how Jesus returned to Galilee and Nazareth. But Matthew agrees with him in saying, “Leaving Nazareth he went unto Capernaum.”[91] 

20, 10 For he went to Nazareth and from there to the Jordan to visit John, and after crossing the Jordan started back to his boyhood home, to his mother at Nazareth, and stayed there (i.e., at the Jordan) for two days, at which time Andrew and the others also stayed with him. Then, for the salvation of mankind he was moved to begin preaching; (11) and because he had come [there] after an interval he stayed two days, accompanied by the disciples he had taken by then. And dismissing the two who had followed him he went to Galilee at once, to preach and work the first miracle, the one he performed at the wedding.  

21, 12 For see how the wording assures <us> of this, when John the Baptist gives his testimony, and says as of an event already  in the past, “And I knew him not, but he who sent me to baptize said unto me, Upon whom thou seest the Spirit descending in the form of a dove, the same is he.”[92] (13) For when the Father sent John to baptize he granted him this sign, so that, when he saw it, he would recognize the Savior and Benefactor of our souls, who had been sent to the world from on high. 

21, 14 Sectarians like these are confounded by the truth and accuracy of the sacred scriptures, especially by the agreement of the four Gospels. No one in his right mind would reject the fully accurate account the Holy Spirit has given through the sacred Gospels. (15) For even though they say that the evangelists Matthew, Mark and Luke reported that the Savior was brought to the wilderness after his baptism, and that he spent forty days in temptation, and after the temptation heard of John’s imprisonment and went to live at Capernaum by the sea—(l6) but [then go on to say] that John is lying because he did not speak of this but straight off of the Savior’s visit to John [the Baptist], and all the other things John says he did[93]—[even if this is their argument], their ignorance of the Gospels’ exact words will be evident. (17) John the Evangelist indicates that, before the arrest of John the Baptist, the Lord went to him <again*> after the days of the temptation. If John had been imprisoned, how could the Savior still return to him at the Jordan?  

21, 18 Nor  do they realize that the other three evangelists give account of the time after John’s imprisonment by saying, "Jesus hearing that John was cast into prison, departing from Nazareth dwelt in Capernaum which is upon the seacoast.” And you see that everything is said truthfully and in agreement by the four evangelists. 

21, 19 For John is plainly <following> the [other evangelists’] order when he says in turn that, after the Savior had performed the first miracle, gone to Capemaurn and performed certain miracles there, and gone back to Nazareth and read the scroll, then finally; when John the Baptist was imprisoned, he went and lived at Capernaum for “not many days.”[94] (20) These are the “days” after? the Epiphany, and after Christ’s journey to Capernaum and Nazareth his pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Passover, and <his> return John, where John was baptizing at Aenon <near> Salim. (21) For the Gospel says, “After this he went down to Capernaum, he and his mother and his brethren, and they remained there not many days.[95] He was not yet referring to Jesus’ final residence [at Capemaum], of which he said later <that> after John’s imprisonment he went to live at Capernaum by the sea. 

21, 22 “And the Passover of the Jews was nigh,” as he says, “and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, and found the sellers of oxen, sheep and doves in the temple, and the changers of money sitting."[96](23) And after expelling these money-changers and dove-seller and the rest and saying, "Take these things hence and make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise”—and after hearing their answer, “What sign showest thou us, seeing that thou doest these things?” and telling them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up”9[97]—(it was at this time that Nicodemus came to him)—and after saying a great deal, John says, (24) "Jesus came, and his disciples, to Judaea, and there he tarried with them and baptized. And John also was <baptizing> in Aenon near to Salem for there was much water there; for John was not yet cast into prison."[98] 

21,25 And after John has said a great deal—“He that hat the bride is the bridegroom,"[99] [and so on]—the Gospel then says, “When therefore Jesus knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples <than> John (though Jesus himself baptized not, but his disciples), he left Judaea departed again into Galilee. (26) And he must needs pass through Samaria.”[100] This was the occasion when he sat by the well and talked with the Samaritan woman. And the Samaritan woman told the townsmen about him, and the Samaritans came to him and begged him to stay with them, “and he stayed there two days, and many more believed because of his word."[101] 

21, 27 “Now after the two days he came into Galilee . . .And there was a certain nobleman whose son was sick at Capemaum.”[102] This was when Jesus told him, “Go, thy son liveth,”[103] and he believed, and the boy was healed. And the Gospel says, “<This> is again the second miracle that Jesus did when he was come out of Judaea into Galilee.”[104] 

21, 28 “After this there was a feast of the Jews”—I believe he is speaking of another feast of the Jews, Pentecost or Tabemacles—“and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.”[105] This was when he came to the Sheep Pool on the Sabbath, and healed the paralytic who had been ill for thirty-eight years. (29) And then the acceptable year finally over and they began to persecute him, from the time when he healed the paralytic at the Sheep Pool on the Sabbath. John says in turn, "The Jews persecuted Jesus the more, because not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”[106] (30) How can the sects which make the Son inferior to the Father escape condemnation? “Making himself equal with God,” says the Gospel. 

21, 31  “After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee,  the Sea of Tiberias, and a great multitude followed him because they saw the miracles which he did on them that were diseased. And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. And the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was <nigh>."[107] (32) And now, as the other Gospels say, when John was imprisoned Jesus came and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, as we find that john himself says in agreement with the others. For as the Passover comes in the month of March or perfectly plain that the times at which Jesus came to the temptation were different times [than this].   

22, 1 Again, they also accuse the holy evangelist—or rather, they accuse the Gospel itself-—because, they say, ‘John said that the Savior kept two Passovers over a two—year period, but the other evangelists describe one Passover.” (2) In their boorishness they fail to realize that the Gospels not only acknowledge that there are two Passovers as I have fully shown, but that they speak of two earlier Passovers, and of that other Passover on which the Savior suffered, so that there are three Passovers, over three years, from the time of Christ’s baptism and first preaching until the cross. 

22, 3 For the Savior was born during the forty-second year of  the Roman emperor Augustus—in the thirteenth consulship of the same Octavian Augustus and the consulship of Silanus, as the Roman consul lists indicate. (4) For these say as follows: “During their; consulships,” I mean Octavian’s thirteenth and the consulship of Silanus, “Christ was born on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the winter solstice and the increase of the light and the day.”[108] (5) Greeks, I mean the idolaters, celebrate this day" on the eighth before the Kalends of January, which Romans call Saturnalia, Egyptians Cronia, and Alexandrians, Cicellia. (6) For this division between signs of the zodiac, which is a solstice, comes on the eighth before the Kalends of January, and the day begins to lengthen because the light is receiving its increase. And it completes a period of thirteen days until the eighth before the Ides of January the day of Christ’s birth, with a thirtieth of an hour added to each day. (7) The Syrian sage, Ephrem, testified to this calculation in his commentaries when he said, “Thus the advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, his birth in the flesh or perfect incarnation which is called the Epiphany, was revealed after a space of thirteen from the beginning of the increase of the light. For this too needs be a type of the number of our Lord Jesus Christ and his twelve disciples, since, [added to the disciples], he made up the number of the thirteen days of the light’s increase.”[109] 

22, 8 And how many other things have been done and are being done because of, and in testimony to this calculation, I mean of Christ’s birth? Indeed, those who guilefully preside over the  cult of idols are obliged to confess a part of the truth, and in many places deceitfully celebrate a very great festival on the very night of the Epiphany, to deceive the idolaters who believe them into hoping[110] in the imposture and not seeking the truth.

22, 9 First, at Alexandria, in the Coreum, as they call it; it is a very large temple, the shrine of Core. They stay up all night Singing hymns to the idol with a flute accompaniment. And when they have concluded their nightlong vigil torchbearers descend into an underground shrine after cockcrow (10) and bring up a wooden image which is seated naked < on > a litter. It has a sign of the cross inlaid with gold on its forehead, two other such signs, [one] on each hand, and two other signs, [one] actually [on each of] its two knees—altogether five signs with a gold impress. And they carry the image itself seven times round the innermost shrine with flutes, tambourines and hymns, hold a feast, and take it back down to its place underground. And when you ask them what this mystery means they reply that today at this hour Core—that is, the virgin—gave birth to Aeo. 

22, 11 This also goes on in the city of Petra, in the idolatrous temple there. (Petra is the capital city of Arabia, the scriptural Edom.) They praise the virgin with hymns in the Arab language and call her Chaamu—that is, Core, or virgin—in Arabic. And the _ child who is born of her they call Dusares, that is, “only son of the Lord.” And this is also done that night in the city of Elusa, as it is there in Petra, and in Alexandria. 

22, 12 I have been obliged to prove this with many examples because of those who do not believe that "The Epiphany” is a good  name for the fleshly birth of the Savior, who was born at the eighth hour and manifested, by the angels’ testimony, to the shepherds and the world—but he was manifested to Mary and Joseph as well. (13) And the star was manifested to the magi in the east at that hour, years before their arrival at Jerusalem and Bethlehem, when Herod asked the magi themselves the precise time of the star’s manifestation, and they told him it was no more than two years before. And this very word gave the Epiphany its name, from Herod’s saying, “the manifestation of the star.” (14) Thus when the magi said "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east and are come to worship him,”[111] Herod saw that he had not been inquiring about the name of a merely human king. For he mulled the matter over and was puzzled because many kings had been bornin Jerusalem—Saul of the tribe of Benjamin first, David of the tribe of Judah second, David’s son Solomon, Solomon’s son Rehoboam, and Rehoboam’s sons in succession—and no star had ever appeared at any of their births and never, except this once, had magi arrived to come and worship the newborn king. And after giving this his consideration he hit on the knowledge of the truth as well, and understood that this was not the sign of a man, but of the Lord alone. (16) Thus, when he asked the scribes and the priests, “Where is the Christ born?" and heard their answer, “in Bethlehem of Judaea,”[112] he was no longer asking about an earthly king or a mere man, but about Christ. And he learned the place by asking it of them, but the time by asking it of the magi. 

22, 17 For the magi themselves reached Bethlehem, after a two year interval, on this very day of the Epiphany, and offered their gifts, the myrrh, the gold and the frankincense. For the beginnings. of many of the signs of Christ's manifestation came on this day; of the Manifestation. (18) As I have said before and am obliged to say over and over, this was the day in the thirteenth consulship of Octavius Augustus and the consulship of Silanus [which fell] on the eighth before the Ides of January, thirteen days after the increase of the daylight. This lasts from the winter solstice, the eighth before the Kalends of January, until the actual day of Christ’s birth and Manifestation, because of the type I spoke of—the Savior himself and his disciples, making thirteen.  

22, 19 Thus the Savior was born in the forty-second year of the Roman emperor Augustus in the consulship I have mentioned, twenty-nine years after Augustus’ annexation of Judaea; Augustus had reigned for thirteen years before Judaea was finally annexed to Rome. (20) After Augustus’ accession there was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews for about four years of his reign, with the dispatch of an auxiliary force, the appointment of a governor, and the payment of partial tribute to the Romans. <And again, partial tribute was given to the Romans> for about five years [more], until Judaea was surrendered to them completely and became [fully] tributary to them, (21) because the rulers descended from Judah had come to an end, and Herod had been made king—a gentile, though indeed a proselyte. And then Christ was born in Bethlehem of Judaea and began to preach, after the last; of the anointed rulers (xpistoi) descended from Judah and Aaron had come to an end—(their line had continued until the anointed ruler Alexander, and Salina, or Alexandra.) This was the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy, “There shall not fail a ruler from Judah and a governor from his loins, till he come for who it is prepared, and he is the expectation of the nations”[113]—a reference to the birth of the Lord.  

22, 22 All this was fulfilled beginning with Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, the forty second year of the whole reign of Augustus. Augustus’ forty-second year came after [the following]: The fifth year of the governorship of Herod’s father Antipater, when there

was an alliance between the Romans and the Jews and the payment of partial tribute; Antipater’s governorship, from the sixth year of Augustus through his ninth year; Herod’s appointment in Augustus’ tenth year, and the payment of partial tribute until Augustus’ thirteenth, which was the fourth year of the reign of his appointee, Herod; (23) the period from Herod’s fourth year, which finally saw the complete surrender of Judaea, until Herod’s thirty-third year, when Augustus had reigned forty two <and>, as I said,  Judaea had been subdued. [This came] after it had been tributary to the Romans for twenty-nine years; after Herod’s father Antipater had been made governor; and after Herod had been made king of Judaea by Augustus in Augustus’ tenth year. 

22, 24 1. These things (i.e., Christ's birth and the fulfillment of Jacob’s prophecy) came about in the thirteenth consulship of Octavius Augustus and the consulship of Silanus, as I have often said. The consulships listed below succeeded that consulship in order, as follows.[114] [The consulships] of:

2. Lentulus and Piso

3. Lucius Caesar and Paulus

4. Vindicius and Varus

5. Lamius and Servilius Nonnius

6. Magnus Pompeius and Valerius

7. Lepidus and Aruncius

8. Caesar and Capito

9. Creticus and Nerva

10. Camillus and Quintillian

11. Camerus and Sabinus

12. Dolabella and Silanus

13. Lepidus and Taurus

14. Flaccus and Silanus

15. The two Sexti

16. Pompeius Magnus and Apuleius

17. Brutus and Flaccus

18. Taurus and Libo

19. Crassus and Rufus

20. Tiberius Caesar for the second time, and Drusus Genicus for the second time

21. Silanus and Balbus

22. Messala and Grams

23. Tiberius Caesar for the third time, and Drusus Germanicus for the third time

24. Agrippa and Galba

25. Pollio and Veterus

26. Cethegus and Varus

27. Agrippa for the second lime, and Lentulus Galba

28. Getulicus and Sabinus

29. Crassus and Piso

30. Silanus and Nerva  

23, 1 And you see that this is a period of thirty years. I have; done my best to give an accurate list of the successive consulships, so that those who go over it will see that there is no falsehood in the sacred doctrine of the truth, but that everything has been proclaimed with accuracy by the church. (2) For who can count the successive consulships, which cannot be wrong, and not despise those who believe that there is a discrepancy in the number of the years which is celebrated by the evangelists? 

23, 3 This is also the downfall of the earlier Valentinian sect: and certain others, with their fictitious record of the thirty aeons they thought they could compare with the years of the Savior’s life, making it possible for them to write the story of their aeons and first principles, if you please. (4) For in fact, it was in the thirty-third year of his incarnation that the Only-begotten suffered for —the divine Word from on high who was impassible, and yet <took> flesh <and> suffered for us to cancel our sentence death. (5) For after that consulship which came, as I indicated in Christ’s thirtieth year, there was another, called the consulship of Rufus and Rubellio. And then, at the beginning of the consulship after the consulship <of Rufus and> Rubellio—the one which later came to be called the consulship of Vinnicius and Longinus Cassius—the Savior suffered on the thirteenth before the Kalends of April <in his thirty-third year, which was> the eighteenth year; of Tiberius Caesar. (6) And this confounds the deceit of all sectarians. The accurate teaching is plainly that the Gospels contain not only periods of two times for the celebration of the feast of the Passover, but even of three. 

24, 4 For Christ was born in the month of January, that is on the eight before the Ides of January—is the evening of January fifth, at the beginning of January sixth. In the Egyptian calendar it is the eleventh of Tybi. In the Syrian or Greek it is the sixth of Audynaeus. In the Cypriote or Salaminian it is the fifth day of the fifth month. In the Paphian it is the fourteenth of July. In the Arabian it is the twenty-first of Aleom. <In the Macedonian it is the sixteenth of Apellaeus.>[115] In the Cappadocian it is the thirteenth of Atartes. In the Athenian it is the fifth of Maemacterium. And in the Hebrew calendar it is the fifth of Tebeth. (2) For in this case too the prophet’s oracle had to be fulfilled, “There came unto us the ark of the Lord”but he means Christ’s perfect human nature—“on the fifth day of the fifth month.”[116] (3) This had to be fulfilled first by the Hebrew reckoning, by the following of which many of the gentiles, I mean the Romans, observe the fifth day in the evening preceding the sixth. But the Cypriotes keep the fifth of the month itself; and the native Egyptians, and the Salarninians, observe that month as the fifth, just as the Hebrews make it the fifth month from their New Year. 

24, 4 Christ had lived through these twenty-nine full consulships, but in the thirtieth consulship, I mean <the consulship of  Silanus and Nerva>, he came to John in about the <eleventh>  month, and was baptized in the river Jordan in the thirtieth year  following his birth in the flesh, (5) on the sixth before the Ides of November. That is, he was baptized on the twelfth of the Egyptian month Athyr, the eighth of the Greek month of Dius, the sixth of third Choiak in the Salaminian, or Constantian calendar, the sixteenth of Apogonicus in the Paphian, the twenty-second of Angalthabaith in the Arabian, the sixteenth of Apellaeus in the Macedonian, the fifteenth of Aratates in the Cappadocian, the seventh of Metagitnium in the Athenian, and the seventh of  Marcheshvan in the Hebrew. (6) As I have often remarked, the holy Gospel according to Luke bears me out with some such words as, "Jesus began to be about thirty years old, being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph.”[117] 

24, 7 From this day, the twelfth of Athyr, he “preached the acceptable year of the Lord” as had been foretold in the prophet Isaiah: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind to preach the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of retribution."[118] 

25, 1 For he indeed preached an acceptable year of the Lord, that is, a year without opposition. He preached for the first year after <the> thirtieth year of his incarnation, and everyone accepted his preaching. Neither Jews nor gentiles nor Samaritan disputed it; all were glad to hear him. (2) In this year he went up to Jerusalem, after being baptized and passing the forty day of the temptation, and the twenty days prior to the first miracle, which I have spoken of, and the choosing of his disciples. (3) It is plain that, after returning to the Jordan from the temptation, and crossing the Sea of Tiberias and going to Nazareth, he went up to Jerusalem and, midway through the feast, cried out, “If anyone: thirst, let him come to me and drink.”[119] And then he went to Nazareth, Judaea, Samaria and Tyre.  

25, 4 And at the close of the first year he went up to Jerusalem again, and now they tried to arrest him during the feast and were afraid to; at this feast he said, “I go not up at this feast.”[120] (5) He was not lying, never fear! It says, “He set out at the middle of their feast and went up to Jerusalem,[121] and they said, Is not this he whom they sought to arrest? And lo, he speaketh boldly. Have the priests, then, learned that this is the Christ?”[122] (6) For because he was speaking mysteriously with his brethren, and in supernatural terms, they did not know what he meant. He was telling them that he would not go up to heaven at that feast, or go to the cross then to accomplish the work of the passion and the mystery of redemption, and rise from the dead and ascend to heaven. All this he accomplished at his own discretion. 

25, 7 And finally after this, at the close of the two year period which followed his baptism and his birthday, in November and January [respectively]—in the thirty-third year of his incarnation, after living through the two consulships I have mentioned, those of the two Gemini and of Rufus and Rubellio, (8) the impassible divine Word accomplished the mystery of his passion in the third consulship, in its third month, after January and February. He suffered in the flesh for us while retaining his impassibility, as Peter says, “being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit.”[123]  

26, 1 Jesus suffered on the thirteenth before the Kalends of April, the Jews meanwhile having skipped one evening, that is, at midnight on the fourteenth of the month[124]. (2) For the Jews came ahead of time and ate the Passover, as the Gospel says[125] and I have often remarked. They thus ate the Passover two days before its <proper> eating; that is, they ate it in the evening on the third day of the week, a thing that ought to be done at evening on the fifth day.[126]  For on that basis[127] the fourteenth of the month was the fifth day of the week, [when the Passover should have been eaten]. 

26, 3 But Jesus was arrested late on that same third day, which was the nighttime of the eleventh of the month, the sixteenth before the Kalends of April.[128] The dawning of the fourth day[129] of the week was the nighttime of the [Jewish] twelfth day of the month, the fifteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the thirteenth day of the month[130] was the fifth day of the week, but the [ensuing] nighttime was the fourteenth of the month,[131] the fourteenth before the Kalends of April.[132] The daytime of the fourteenth of the month was the eve of the Sabbath, the thirteenth before the Kalends of April. The daytime of the fifteenth of the month[133] was the Sabbath, the twelfth before the Kalends of April. 

26, 4 The dawning of the Lord's Day was [the end of] the nighttime of the fifteenth of the month.[134] That was the illumination of hades, earth and heaven and the <time of the equality> the night and the day, reckoned [both] because of the Jewish] fifteenth of the month and because of the course of the sun; for the resurrection and the equinox <came> [at midnight] on the eleventh before the Kalends of April. As I said, <the ]ews> were mistaken about this, and made sure that one day was skipped.[135] 

26, 5 Now the exact computation [of the lunar year] contains some [double-]hours,[136] and comes out even every third year, making a difference of one day in their calculations. (6) For they add four other [double-]hours per year to the moon’s course after its 354 days, making one [additional] day every three years. (7) And so they intercalate five months in fourteen years because the one [double-]hour is subtracted from the sun’s course of 365 days and three [double-]hours; for, with the hours added, the final result is 365 days less one [double]-hour. 

26, 8 And so, because they multiply the fourteen years by six every eighty-four years, they intercalate one month in the eighty-fifth year, so that there are thirty-one [intercalary] months every eighty-five years; but by exact reckoning there ought to be thirty-one months, twenty-four[137] days, and three [double]-hours. (27,1) The Jews were wrong at that time for this reason; not only did they eat the Passover two days early because they were disturbed, 5 but they also added the one day they had skipped, since they were mistaken in every way. But the revelation of the truth has done everything for our salvation with the utmost precision. (2) Thus when the Savior himself had finished the Passover he went out into the mount “with intense desire”[138] after eating it (3) And yet he ate that Jewish Passover with the disciples, and did nothing different He himself kept it the same as the others, so as not to destroy the Law but to fulfill it. 

27, 4 And so, after completing his thirtieth year in which he was baptized, and after completing his thirty-first by preaching for an entire “acceptable year” without opposition, but [then] preaching another year with opposition, to the accompaniment of persecution and hatred; and after completing [part of] another year after it[139] a full seventy-four days from his birthday,—(the Epiphany, (5) January 5 at the dawn of January 6 and the eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi)—until the thirteenth before the Kalends of April, as I said, <on that same thirteenth before the Kalends of April,> the twenty-fourth of the Egyptian month Phamenoth, he had attained a full thirty—two years, plus seventy-four days from the Epiphany. (6) And he rose on the twenty-sixth of the Egyptian month Phamenoth—(this was the day of the equinox and was preceded by the night and the equinox)—the day which followed the twenty-fifth of Phamenoth, the eleventh before the Kalends of April, <and appeared to his disciples.> This makes liars of all who are not sons of the truth. 

28, 1 Valentinus, first of all, is at once <exposed> as a schemer, since he expects <to prove> to us, from the years of the Savior’s rearing and coming to manhood, that there are thirty aeons. He does not realize that the Savior did not live for only thirty years. (2) He was baptized in his thirtieth year at the age of twenty-nine years and ten months, on the twelfth of Athyr, as I said, the sixth before the Ides of November. And then, following his baptism which was <sixty days> before his birthday, <he passed> an acceptable year of the Lord in preaching, and another year, of opposition, after <the first> year[140] and [finally] seventy-four days of opposition. (3) Thus all the years of his incarnation, from his birth until his passion, amounted to thirty-two years and seventy four days. But there were two years and 134 days (sic!)[141] from the start <of his preaching in> the consulship of Silanus and Nerva.  And Valentinus stands refined, and the many who are just as foolish. 

28, 4 The ones who reject John’s Gospel have also been refuted. (I may rightly call them “Dumb,” since they reject the Word of God—the Father’s Word who was preached by john, and which came down from heaven and wrought salvation for us <by> his whole advent in the flesh.) (5) For from the consulships, the years, the witness of the prophet Isaiah, the Gospel according to Luke, the Gospel according to John, the Gospel according to Matthew, the Gospel according to Mark—in short, the misguided people have been refuted in every way, (6) since Christ did not live to see just one Passover over the period of a year from the start of his preaching, but actually lived through the periods of a little less than three consulships after his baptism by John. (7) And the  nitwits’ fallacious argument has failed <because it is> full of silliness, and of an ignorance that not only fails to recognize its own salvation, but even futilely makes a lying war on the truth.  

29, 1 For somewhere <in> these works I have also found a notation that the Word of God was born about the fortieth year of Augustus. Either this was a mistake on the writer’s part, or else he wrote only “forty (m) years” because the figure “beta” had been erased and only the “mu” was left on the page. For Christ was born in the forty-second year of Augustus. 

29, 2 It says besides that Christ <was conceived> on the twelfth before the Kalends of July or June—I cannot say which—in the consulship of Sulpicius Cammarinus and Betteus Pompeianus.[142] (3) I have,<also> noticed that those who have given a date for the conception, and Gabriel’s bringing of the tidings to the Virgin, have said <this because of> a conjecture on the part of certain persons who have it by tradition[143] that Christ was born after a term of seven months. (4) For I have found that there is a time of seven lunar months less four days between the month they mention[144] and the eleventh of Tybi, the eighth before the Ides of January, when the Epiphany really took place and Christ was born. (5) So if you should find <this> in a marginal gloss somewhere, do not be misled by the information. The actual date of Christ’s birth is in fact the eleventh of Tybi. 

29, 6 Some, however, say that Christ was carried in the womb for ten months less fourteen days and eight hours, making nine months, fifteen days and four hours. They are alluding to Solomon's saying, “compacted in blood for a time of ten months.”[145] 

29, 7 In any case, <it has been shown> by every means <that> me Lord’s birth in the flesh took place on <the> eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi. And the first miracle in Cana of Galilee, when the water was made wine, was performed on about the same eleventh day thirty years later. (30,1) And even to this day this happens in many places as a testimony to unbelievers because of the miracle which was wrought at that time, as streams and rivers in many localities testify by being changed to wine. (2) The stream at Cibyre, the chief city of Caria, [gives its testimony] at the same time of day at which the servants drew the water and Christ said, “Give it to the governor of the feast.”[146] And the stream at Gerasa in Arabia testifies in the same way. <I> have drunk from the <one at > Cibyre <myself>, and my brethren have drunk from the stream in the shrine of the martyrs at Gerasa. (3) And even in Egypt many give this testimony of the Nile. Thus in Egypt itself, and in many countries, everyone draws water on the eleventh of the Egyptian month Tybi, and stores it up. 

30, 4 And so we see that after the twelfth of Athyr, when he had gone away and been tempted for forty days, and [then] come to Nazareth and stayed there for about two weeks and three days, he [next] went down to the Jordan to see John and spent a first day there, and a second; and [then he] returned to Nazareth, and likewise stayed there for a first and a second day. (5) And on the third day he went to Cana of Galilee. This makes a total of sixty days after the baptism: the forty days of the temptation; the two weeks <and two days> at Nazareth, and the other two; and on the third day the miracle of the water was performed at the wedding.”[147]  

30, 6 After that he came to Capemaum and performed other miracles as I have said many times, and [then] returned to Nazareth again and read the roll of Isaiah the prophet. This is why [the people of Nazareth] say, “Do also here whatsoever signs we have heard thou hast done in Capernaum.”[148] (7) But later he returned from there to Capemaum and from there crossed over to the Lake, or Sea of Gennesareth, and Peter and the others were chosen for good; and then he went on to do all of his preaching.  

30, 8 For going in order, as I said: after the forty <days> [of the temptation], and the other two weeks and two days <at Nazareth>, Christ went to John on a first day and the day following. But <from> John he started back to Nazareth, and he stayed in a lodging from the tenth hour until evening, and on the other day went out and met Philip, (9) making two days. And finally, <by saying>, “On the third there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee,”[149] the Gospel shows its unvarying accuracy because of the two days he stayed [at Nazareth] after his arrival.  

30, 10 This was symbolic of the church. On the third day of his business in the heart of the earth, which he spent in hades[150] after the passion, he arose and contracted marriage with “Cana”— for “Cana” means “the bride.”[151] (11) But who is “the bride” except the heiress of whom the Psalmist said, “For the heiress,”[152] and so on, in the fifth Psalm? Blessed indeed is this wedding, for which that type gave occasion! (12) For there was a real wedding there in Cana of Galilee, and water which really became wine, <and Christ> was invited for two purposes. [One was] to dry the wetness of the world’s carousers up, <through> marriage, to a state of temperance and decency. [The other was] to remedy what is wanting],for good spirits through cheering wine, and through grace. (13) He thus completely silences the opponents of  marriage,[153] and, by providing the vine with water, and tinting it into wine within the vine to make men glad, shows that, with his Father and Holy Spirit, he is God. I have discussed this elsewhere at greater length; [154] here I hurry over the matter as though in passing. 

30, 14 At all events, the Savior kept two Passovers after the beginning of his preaching and suffered on the third, and this ends the things I have by now said in great detail about days, months and consulships. And their erroneous argument has entirely failed; the Gospels are in agreement, and no evangelist contradicts another. 

31, 1 But to return to the subject. To witness to what I have said in a number of different ways, Luke, again, says, “It came to pass (in the second Sabbath after the first.”[155] This is to show that a “first Sabbath” is the Sabbath the Lord ordained at the beginning and called a Sabbath during the creation, a Sabbath which has occurred at seven day intervals from then till now—but that a “second” Sabbath is the one instituted by the Law. (2) For the Law says, “Thou shalt take to thyself a lamb of a year old, male and without blemish”—a type of the Savior—“on the tenth day of the month, and it shall be kept until the fourteenth day. And ye shall slay it at even on the fourteenth day; and it shall be to thee a Sabbath, an holy day, and ye shall eat unleavened bread seven days, and the seventh day thou shalt declare holy.”[156] (3) And see how such a holy day of the lamb is called a second Sabbath after the first Sabbath, and is consecrated as a Sabbath even though it is the Lord’s Day, or the second day of the week, or the third day of the week. (4) But a second Sabbath [after this one], if it recurs in the regular seven day cycle, is called a “first” Sabbath—all of  which shows that not only John gave indication of a time of two years and three Passover festivals, but that Luke did too, and the others.

 31, 5 For the Law says as follows: ‘Thou shalt number unto thee I I seven weeks from the first [reaping] of the sheaf, and putting of the sickle unto the standing corn, and in the seventh week thou shalt declare an holy day of the Lord,”[157] meaning the feast of Pentecost. (6) For within three days after the slaying of the Passover—that is, three days after [the sacrifice of] the lamb—the Law enjoined the bringing in of the sheaf, meaning the blessed Sheaf which was raised from the dead the third day. (7) For the earth bought the Sheaf forth, and he received it back from her at his rising <from> the tomb, remained for the forty days with his disciples, and at the end of the Pentecost brought it into the heavens to the Father. (8) He is the firstborn of the firstborn, the holy firstfruits, the Sheaf which was reaped from Mary, the Embrace embraced in God, the Fruit of the womb, the firstfruits of the threshing floor. (9) For after Pentecost the sickle no longer offers firstfruits to God: “The Lord dieth no more, death hath no more dominion over him.”[158] as the scripture says. 

31, 10 And you see how many of God’s mysteries the Law pre-figured and the Gospel fulfilled. In which passages can I not expound them? But not to go on too long, I must return to our order of presentation. (11) However, from the ears, the standing grain and the disciples, it is plain that john, Luke and all the evangelists describe all these things ater the forty day temptation. 

32, 1 But again, these people are not ashamed to take arm against the things St John has said, supposing that they can over throw the truth, but unaware that they are attacking themselves rather than the sound doctrine. (2) For they derisively say against Revelation, “What good does John’s Revelation do me by telling me about seven angels and seven trumpets?”—(3) not knowing that such things were essential, and of use to the message’s rightness.  

32, 4 For whatever  obscure and puzzling in The Law and Prophets, the Lord in his providence revealed by the Holy Spirit "to his servant John"[159] for our salvation. What was obscure there he proclaims spiritually and clearly here; <for he gave physical; I commandments> in the Law, but reveals the same ones spiritually to us. 

32, 5 And in the Law he makes the tabernacle of skins—the skins that were dyed scarlet, blue and so on—to show that tabernacle there is actually a tent, but that it awaits the perfect Tabernacle of Christ (6) For skin comes off a body and is something dead, like the shadow of a living body; and this shows that bodies are God’s tabernacle, for God dwells in holy bodies in fulfillment of the words of scripture, “I shall tabernacle in thee and walk in thee."[160] 

32, 7 Thus error would arise among the faithful if the book had not been revealed to us spiritually, teaching us that there is need for trumpets, but <enabling us> to know that God’s entire activity is spiritual—(8) so that we will not take these as bronze or silver trumpets like the Jewish trumpets, but understand spiritually, that they are the church’s message from heaven: as he has said elsewhere, “On that day they sound with the great trumpet.”[161] (9) For the prophets were trumpets, but the great Trumpet is the Lord’s holy voice in the Gospel. For this is why angels were also privileged to make revelations to us; “For the trumpet shall sound," it says, “and the dead will arise.”[162] 

32, 10 But if you people joke about the angels’ trumpets because of their being in Revelation, then the trumpet the holy apostle speaks of must be a joke too, for he says, "The Lord shall descend from heaven at the last trump, and the dead will arise on the last day at the voice of the archangel.”[163] (11) What reply is left you, since Paul agrees with the holy apostle John in the Revelation? How can every error not be refuted at once, when God has testified <for> the saints in every book? 

33, 1 Then again, some of them seize on the following text in Revelation, and say in contradiction of it, He said, in turn, "Write the angel of the church in Thyatira,"[164] and there is no church of Christians in Thyatira. How could he write to a non-existent Church?" (2) In fact these people demolish themselves since they are compelled by their own declarations[165] to confess the truth. For if they say, “There is no church in Thyatira now,” they are showing that John foretold this. 

33, 3 For since these Phrygians settled there, snatched the simple believers’ minds like wolves, and converted the whole town to their sect, those who reject Revelation attacked this text at that time in an effort to discredit it. (4) But now, in our time, the church is there thanks to Christ and is growing, 112 years after [its restoration], even <though> there are some others (i.e., sectarians) there. Then, however, the whole church had deserted to the Phrygians. (5) And thus the Holy Spirit was at pains to give us the revelation of how the church would fall into error ninety-three years after the time of the apostles, John and his successors—or in other words, for a time <of 138 years> from the Savior’s ascension until the church’s restoration—since the church there would go astray and be swamped by the Phrygian sect. 

33, 6 For the Lord exposes < them > at the outset in Revelation when he says, “Write to the angel of the church in Thyatira, Thus saith he whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and his feet like fine brass. I know thy works, and thy faith and thy love and thy ministry, and that thy latter works are more than the first. (7) But I have against thee that thou sufferest the woman Jezebel to deceive my servants, calling herself a prophetess, teaching to eat things sacrificed to idols and commit fornication. And I gave her space for repentance, and she will not repent of her fornication.” 

33, 8 Don’t you people see that he means the women who are deceived by a false conception of prophecy, and will deceive many? I mean that he is speaking of Priscilla, Maximilla and Quintilla, (9) whose imposture the Holy Spirit did not overlook. He foretold it prophetically by the mouth of St John, who prophesied before his falling asleep, during the time of Claudius Caesar and earlier; when he was on the isle of Patmos. Even the people of Thyatira admit that this has come true. (10) John, then, wrote prophetically to those who were living in Christ there at the time, that a woman would call herself a prophetess. And the false argument which is raised against the truth has failed completely, since it can be shown that the prophetic oracle in Revelation is truly of the Holy Spirit. 

34, 1 Again, in their endless hunt for texts to give the appearance of discrediting the holy apostle’s books—I mean John’s Gospel and Revelation and perhaps the Epistles as well, for they too agree with the Gospel and Revelation—these people get excited (2) and quote, “I saw, and he said to the angel, Loose the four angels which are upon the Euphrates. And I heard the number of the host, ten thousand times ten thousand and thousands of  thousands, and they were clad in breastplates of fire and sulfur and hyacinth"[166] 

34,3 For people like these thought that the truth might be <some sort of > Joke. If he speaks of the four angels who are seated at the Euphrates, it is to indicate the various peoples there who live by the Euphrates: the Assyrians, Babylonians, Medes and Persians. (4) For these are the four successive kingdoms that are mentioned in Daniel. The Assyrians were the first of them to rule, and in Daniel’s time, the Babylonians. But the Medes succeeded them, and after them the Persians, whose first king was Cyrus. 

34, 5 For the nations have been put under the command of the angels, as God’s holy servant Moses testifies by his consistent explanation of the saying: “Ask thy father and he will tell thee, thine elders and they will say it unto thee: when the most High apportioned the nations, when he dispersed the sons of Adam, he set bounds to the nations according to the number of the angels of God. And his people Jacob became the Lord’s portion, Israel the lot of his inheritance"[167] (6) Now if the nations are put under the command of the angels, john was right in saying, “Loose the four angels who are upon the Euphrates.” They are plainly in charge [of the nations], and prevented from sending the nations."' to war until the time of [the end of] God’s long-suffering, until he orders the avenging of his saints by their agency. (7) The angels in command are restrained by the Spirit and not allowed to attack, because justice does not release them yet, so that the rest of the nations may be released because of the harm which has been done the saints. But they are to be released and fall suddenly on them, as John and the rest of the prophets foretold. For when the angels are aroused, they arouse the nations to an avenging onslaught. 

34, 8 And there is no doubt as to the meaning of the sulfur, fiery and hyacinth breastplates. Those nations wear clothing of that color. “Sulfur clothes” means a quince yellow color, as they call it, of wool. “Fiery” means their scarlet clothing, and “hyacinth” means the blue-green wool. 

35, 1 But since these people have not received the Holy Spirit they are spiritually condemned for not understanding the things of the Spirit, and choosing to speak against the words of the Spirit. . This is because they do not know the gifts of grace in the holy church, which the Holy Spirit, the holy apostles, and the holy prophets have expounded truly and soundly, with understanding and a sound mind. (2) One of the apostles and prophets, St. John, has shared his sacred gift with the holy church, through the Gospel, the Epistles and the Revelation. (3) But these people are liable to the scriptural penalty, “Whoso blasphemeth against the Holy Spirit it will not be forgiven him, neither in this world nor in the world to come.”[168] For they have gone to war against the words the Spirit has spoken.

35, 4 But let us go on once more to the rest, beloved, with the power of God. Now that I have said such things, and so many of them, against such a sect, I think that they are enough. I have trampled it with God’s power and truth, like the many—footed millipede or the serpent they call the wood-louse. It is not very strong and its poison is not very painful, but it has lots of feet and its body is long and twisty.

[1] “Epiphanius boldly removed the date of the Baptism to the 8th of November. ‘January 6’ (= Tobi 11), he writes, ‘is the day of Christ’s Birth, that is, of the Epiphanies.’  He uses the plural, because he adds on January 6 the commemoration of the water miracle of Cana. Although in 375 he thus protested that January 6 was the day ‘of the Birth after the Flesh,’ he became before the end of the century a convert, according to John of Nice, to the new opinion that December 25 was the real day of this Birth.” Encyclopedia Britannica, Feast of Epiphany, 11th ed (1911).

[2] Individuals or groups who took this position are described at Iren. Haer. 3. 11. 9; Eus. H. E. .25.1—3 (Dionysius of Alexandria); Hippol. Capitula Adversus Gaium. Epiphanius may have known the works of some such school," cf. 51, 29, 1; 5.

[3] Prov. 11:15

[4] Ps. 28:9

[5] Luke 10:19

[6] Gen. 6:14

[7] Iren. Haer. 3, 2, 1, and the reconstructed monarchian prologue at Corrsen, pp. 80-81

[8] I John 2:16

[9] I Tim. 1:7

[10] So, apparently, the second century heretic Gaius, Labriolle p. 48

[11]  John 1:1

[12] John 1:14

[13] John 1:15, 30

[14] John 1:29

[15] John 1:38

[16]  John 1:43

[17]  John 2:1-2

[18] Pan. 20:8, 4; 30:3, 7

[19] Matt. 9:13

[20] Klostermann: khruch; Holl: <dunhtai> : khrucai

[21] Matt. 1:2

[22] Matt. 1:1

[23] Matt. 1:18-23

[24] Matt. 1:24-2:2

[25] Luke 1:24

[26] Luke 1:35

[27] Klostermann: alloj <allwj>; MSS: alloj

[28] Mk. 1:1-3

[29] Pan. 28:8, 9. But there Epiphanius is unsure whether Merinthus is a heretic or so named, or an alternate name for Cerinthus

[30] Eus. H.E. 4, 22, 5 (Heggesipus); Didascalia 23, Archelis-Flemming p. 121; Const. Ap. 6, 8, 9

[31] Cf. Ps. Ignatius Trall. 11

[32] Col. 4:14; Philem. 24; 2 Tim.4:10

[33] 2 Tim. 1:15

[34] Cf. John 6:53

[35] Cf. Mark 1:10-11

[36] Luke 1:1

[37] Luke1:3-4

[38] Luke 1:5

[39]  See Origen c. Celsus1.40; 48; 91.5-7. Also, Origen mentions the seeming discrepancy between Matthew and Luke at In John 10:3.

[40] Matt. 2:13

[41] Luke 2:22, 39

[42] E.g., at De Incarnatione 2m 1-3

[43] Luke 3:23

[44] Anc. 60, 1-3; Pan. 30, 29, 8; 11; 78, 8-9. But Epiphanius regularly gives Joseph four sons and two daughters, cf. Anc. 60, 1; Pan. 78, 7, 6.

[45] Matt. 1:20

[46] Luke 3:23-24

[47] Luke 3:38

[48] 2 Tim. 4:19

[49] John 1;1-2

[50] John 1:6-16

[51] John 1:20, 23

[52] John 1:28. Origen reads “Bethabara” at In Joh. 6.40.

[53] John 1:38,39

[54] John 1:39-2:1

[55] John. 1:29

[56] John 1:30

[57]  Cf. John. 1:32.

[58] John 1:43-44

[59] i.e., at John 1:35

[60] John 2:1-2

[61] Cf. Luke 4:23

[62] MSS and Delahay: ouden; Holl. ouden <semeinon>

[63] Cf. Matt. 13:58; Mark 6:5.

[64] Cf. Luke 5:1-3.

[65] Luke 5:4

[66] Luke 5:4-5

[67] John 1:29

[68] Luke 5:8

[69] Luke 5:10

[70] John 1:29

[71] Holl.: o estin kata Rwmainouj; MSS: wj eyhmen

[72] Luke 3:23

[73] John 1:29

[74] John 1:35-36

[75] John 1:37

[76] John 1:43

[77] Luke 4:18

[78] John 1:14

[79] John 1:30

[80] Cf. John 1:32

[81] Cf. John 1:29

[82] Clement Alexandria says that John wrote a spiritual" Gospel because

the fleshly matters had already been reported, Eus. H. E. 6.14.7.


[83] Iren. Haer. 1.14.6.

[84] Rev. 1:8

[85]  Luke 2:49

[86] Matt. 17:5

[87] John 2:11

[88] John 1:48

[89] John 2:1-4

[90] Cf. Matt. 4:12.

[91] Matt. 4:13

[92] John 1:33

[93] MSS: legei; Holl's <dihgetai> legwn appears unnecessary.

[94] John 2:12

[95] John 2:12

[96] Matt. 4:13

[97] John 2:12, 18-19

[98] John 3:22-24

[99] John 3:29

[100] John 4:1-4

[101] John 4:39-41

[102] John 4:43, 48

[103] John 4:50

[104] John 4:54

[105] John 5:1

[106] John 5:18

[107] John 6:1-4

[108] Consularia Constamtia, MG Auct. Antiq. IX, 218. Here, however, the date given is the eighth before the calends of January, i.e., December 25.

[109] The passage is not extant.

[110] Achelis: elpisantej; we prefer MSS: elpisantaj, in agreement with eidwlolapraj.

[111] Matt. 2:2

[112] Matt. 2:4-5

[113] Gen. 49:10

[114] Epiphanius' list of consuls is in close agreement with the Christian list given in the Consularia Constantia and the Chronicon Paschale, Monumenta Germanica Auctorum Antiquorum IX, 218-220 and XI, 197-199.

[115] Klostermann's restoration, based on 24, 5

[116] This may be a faultily remember version of Zechariah 7:3.

[117] Luke 3:23

[118] Isa. 61;1-2; Luke 4:18-19

[119] John 7:14; 37

[120] John 7:8

[121] John 7:14

[122] John 7:25-27

[123] I Pet. 3:17

[124] With some modification we follow Strobel’s reconstruction (pp. 305-309) of the situation envisaged by Epiphanius, and read the text without Hol1's restorations. Epiphanius seems to have believed that the Jews, as a calendar correction, dropped the six hours between 6pm and midnight on the Jewish fifth day of the week, our Wednesday night. Following this alleged calendar correction the Jewish fifth day of the week, and the days following, would begin at midnight, Roman fashion, rather than in the Jewish manner, at nightfall. The resurrection would then be dated at the midnight between the equinox and the day of the equinox, not only by the Roman calendar but also by the now corrected Jewish calendar.

[125] Epiphanius means Matt. 26:2

[126] Cf. Didascalia 21 (Achelis~Flemming p. 111). Epiphanius’ charge that the Jews ate the Passover two days early, and the calendar correction he believes they made, are connected only in the sense that the calendar correction affects the dating of the days of the month; Epiphanius reveals no belief that the two adjustments were made for the same reason.

[127] Outwj I,e., if all had been done right

[128] Cf. Didascalia 21 (Achelis~Flemming p. 102). In other words, Jesus was arrested on our Tuesday night. However, the “nighttime of the eleventh of the month" should mean Wednesday night; Epiphanius, or the text, is confused here. Epiphanius might have read the phrase, “late on the third day,” in his version o the Didascalia, and taken it as synonymous with “nighttime of the eleventh” or “twelfth” (Schmidt, p. 691).

[129] I.e., the period between 6pm and midnight on our Wednesday.

[130] I.e., 6am-6pm on our Thursday.

[131] I.e, was the fourteenth until the Jews made the six hour calendar correction at this point. But when this had been made, the thirteenth day of the week lasted until midnight, and then the fourteenth began

[132] I.e., the calendar correction has now been made, and the Jewish 14 Nisan

now begins at midnight on the Roman thirteenth before the Kalends, our Friday.

[133] As in the preceding note, the Jewish day is considered to begin at midnight.

[134] I.e., the midnight that ended the “nighttime” of 15 Nisan as it would have been reckoned after the Jews’ alleged six-hour calendar correction.


[135] I.e., if the Jews had not made their (alleged) six-hour calendar correction, the resurrection and the moment of the equinox would have been dated in the nighttime of their 16 Nisan, rather than at the beginning of their 15 Nisan. In this sense, 16 Nisan has been “skipped.”

[136] wras. We assume that Epiphanius means double-hours 'here, because 3 x 4 hours make only half a day, not the full day with which Epiphanius appears to be reckoning. Cf. 26, 6.

[137] Strobel and Codex Urbinas: kd; Codex Marcianus Venetus: ka. Strobel suggests that both are mis-transcriptions of an original kj, 26.

[138] Luke 22:15; that is, desire to eat the real Passover.

[139] Klostermannz met autov; MSS and Holl: meta touto.

[140] Holl: meta ton <protov> eniauton; Klostermann: meta touto.

[141] This should be two years and 14 days, cf. 16, 1-9.

[142] This name is inaccurate, and ungrammatically placed in the dative while Sulpicius Cammarinus is in the genitive; it may have been interpolated (Strobel, Dummer).

[143] Holl: exontwn en paradosei; MSS: legontwn en paradosei

[144] Holl: proeirhmenou mhnoj; MSS: proposwn

[145] Wisd. Sol. 7:12

[146] John 2:8

[147] Cf. 16, 3; 21, 10; 30, 8

[148] Luke 4:23

[149] John 2:1

[150] Holl: en tw adh; MSS: en th gh

[151] So Origen in John 13, 62

[152] Ps. 5, Superscription

[153] Holl: gamou; MSS: kuriou; Codex Urbinas: nomou kuriou

[154] Anc. 66, 2-10

[155] Luke 6:1

[156] Ex. 12:5, 6, 12, 15;

[157] Deut. 16:9; Lev. 23:15-16

[158] Rom. 6:9

[159] Rev. 1:1

[160] II Cor. 6:16; (Lev. 26:12)

[161] Cf. Num. 10:10

[162] I Cor. 15:52

[163] Cf. I Thess. 4:16.

[164] Rev. 2:18

[165] Holl: anaskeuazovtej, anagazomenoi; MSS: anagkazontej

[166] Rev. 9:14, 16, 17

[167] Deut. 32:7-9

[168] Matt. 12:32




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