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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol IX:
Epistle to Gregory and Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of John.: Chapter III

Early Church Fathers  Index     

3.  The Apostles Wrote Little. 4785

But he who was made fit to be a minister of the New Covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, Paul, who fulfilled the Gospel from Jerusalem round about to Illyricum, 4786 did not write epistles to all the churches he taught, and to those to whom he did write he sent no more than a few lines.  And Peter, on whom the Church of Christ is built, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail 4787 left only one epistle of acknowledged genuineness.  Suppose we allow that he left a second; for this is doubtful.  What are we to say of him who leaned on Jesus’ breast, namely, John, who left one Gospel, though confessing 4788 that he could make so many that the world would not contain them?  But he wrote also the Apocalypse, being commanded to be silent and not to write the voices of the seven thunders. 4789   But he also left an epistle of very few lines.  p. 347 Suppose also a second and a third, since not all pronounce these to be genuine; but the two together do not amount to a hundred lines.

[Then, after enumerating the prophets and Apostles, and showing how each wrote only a little, or not even a little, he goes on:4790



From Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. vi. 25.


Rom. xv. 19.


Matt. xvi. 18.


John 1:20, 25.


Rev. 10.4.


The following fragments is found in Philocalia, pp. 27–30.

Next: Chapter IV

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