|Οἱ γὰρ ἀπόστολοι ἐν τοῖς γενομένοις ὑπ' αὐτῶν ἀπομνημονεύμασιν, ἃ καλεῖται εὐαγγέλια, οὕτως παρέδωκαν ἐντετάλθαι αὐτοῖς· τὸν Ἰησοῦν λαβόντα ἄρτον εὐχαριστήσαντα εἰπεῖν· Τοῦτο ποιεῖτε εἰς τὴν ἀνάμνησίν μου, τοῦτ' ἐστι τὸ σῶμά μου· καὶ τὸ ποτή- ριον ὁμοίως λαβόντα καὶ εὐχαριστήσαντα εἰπεῖν· Τοῦτό ἐστι τὸ αἷμά μου· καὶ μόνοις αὐτοῖς μεταδοῦναι.||For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone.|
Is the underlined phrase ("which are called gospels") from Justin? Or was it added for the sake of clarity at a later date?
On the one hand, this is the only time Justin uses the term gospel in the plural. However, he does not use the term very often anyway: Dialogue 10.2 and 100.2, and one instance of the verb, instead of the noun, in 12.2, which is from Isaiah 61.1 (Matthew 11.5 = Luke 7.22); he by far prefers the other term, memoirs, which he uses both above and at 1 Apology 67.3 in this present work, and elsewhere at Dialogue 100.4; 101.3b; 102.5; 103.6a, 8; 104.1b-2; 105.1, 5b, 6; 106.1, 3, 4; 107.1 (thirteen times over the course of these 8 chapter; the use of the verb instead of the noun also appears at 1 Apology 33.5). But when he quotes gospel texts, he seems to quote them in a harmonized way, implying to many that he is using what might be called a harmony of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and possibly some other text or two. Would his use of the plural, gospels, contradict his use of such a harmony?
On the other hand, this is an apology written purportedly for people who are not Christians, and what better time to explain terminology? In Dialogue 10.2 it is actually Trypho who uses the term gospel, perhaps a recognition on the part of Justin that other people use different terminology than he does ("memoirs" may be something of a personal affectation of his). Also, he sometimes calls these texts the memoirs "of the apostles" (plural), and while he is discussing them at Dialogue 103.8 he actually avers that they were written by apostles and by those who followed them (since both nouns are plural, it is understandable that some see Matthew and John as the apostles and Mark and Luke as the followers, though this cannot be proven). Unless he is describing a highly collaborative apostolic effort to pen a single gospel, he seems to be acknowledging that his memoirs are multiple texts.
So maybe, for Justin, memoirs are gospels, even if he himself may prefer to use a harmony, in which case the phrase "which are called gospels" could be genuine. Or maybe, for Justin, memoirs are plural but the gospel is singular, a harmony drawn from those memoirs, in which case the phrase "which are called gospels" would be a gloss.
What do you think? What other arguments are there pro or con?