This index of Christian gospel texts is a companion piece to my index of Christian epistolary texts
Annoyed recently at having to search for and open up 3 or 4 separate web pages just to access a polytonic Unicode Greek text, an English translation, a handful of cross references, and an image of a single fragmentary apocryphal gospel known to us only as a scrap of papyrus, I decided to make a few texts as easily accessible as I could for future reference. I have lots of hardcopy reference materials with polytonic Greek transcriptions, English translations, cross references, and (occasionally) images, but I cannot copy and paste hardcopy materials into a forum post. (And it turns out that polytonic Unicode Greek transcriptions apparently do not even exist online for many of the more obscure fragmentary gospels.) One therefore finds oneself typing polytonic Greek by hand in one of various ways (I most frequently use TypeGreek
myself, mainly because it uses the Beta Code to which I am already accustomed). There are also gospel texts known only through patristic quotations; English translations of these quotations are fairly easy to come by online, but they can often be difficult to find in the original Greek (especially in polytonic Unicode) or Latin.
Each Christian gospel text that I add will constitute its own new thread in order to facilitate focused discussion and the collection of additional resources as needed. This thread will serve as the index. The project will hopefully be ongoing as I am able to find the time to assemble more materials (and type more Greek text into a web interface by hand). What I have so far:
More ought to be on the way in due time.
I ought to make clear that not all of the fragmentary gospels (particularly the very short ones) are necessarily actually gospels. Some may be homilitic or didactic texts, or even catenae, employing gospel details. There is no way to be absolutely certain.
Luke 1.1-4 (NASB):
1 Ἐπειδήπερ πολλοὶ ἐπεχείρησαν ἀνατάξασθαι διήγησιν περὶ τῶν πεπληροφορημένων ἐν ἡμῖν πραγμάτων, 2 καθὼς παρέδοσαν ἡμῖν οἱ ἀπ᾽ ἀρχῆς αὐτόπται καὶ ὑπηρέται γενόμενοι τοῦ λόγου, 3 ἔδοξε κἀμοὶ παρηκολουθηκότι ἄνωθεν πᾶσιν ἀκριβῶς καθεξῆς σοι γράψαι, κράτιστε Θεόφιλε, 4 ἵνα ἐπιγνῷς περὶ ὧν κατηχήθης λόγων τὴν ἀσφάλειαν. / 1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word have handed them down to us, 3 it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; 4 so that you might know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.
30 Πολλὰ μὲν οὖν καὶ ἄλλα σημεῖα ἐποίησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐνώπιον τῶν μαθητῶν [αὐτοῦ], ἃ οὐκ ἔστιν γεγραμμένα ἐν τῷ βιβλίῳ τούτῳ· 31 ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται ἵνα πιστεύ[σ]ητε ὅτι Ἰησοῦς ἐστιν ὁ χριστὸς ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ θεοῦ, καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες ζωὴν ἔχητε ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ. / 30 Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
Origin, Homilies on Luke 1 (prologue):
Ὥσπερ ἐν τῷ πάλαι λαῷ πολλοὶ προφητείαν ἐπηγγέλλοντο, ἀλλὰ τούτων τινὲς μὲν ἦσαν ψευδοπροφῆται, τινὲς δὲ ἀληθῶς προφῆται, καὶ ἦν χάρισμα τῷ λαῷ διάκρισις πνευμάτων, ἀφ' οὗ ἐκρίνετο ὅ τε ἀληθὴς προφήτης καὶ ὁ ψευδώνυμος· οὕτω καὶ νῦν ἐν τῇ καινῇ διαθήκῃ τὰ εὐαγγέλια «πολλοὶ» ἠθέλησαν γράψαι, ἀλλ' «οἱ δόκιμοι τραπεζῖται» οὐ πάντα ἐνέκριναν, ἀλλά τινα αὐτῶν ἐξελέξαντο. Τάχα δὲ καὶ τὸ «ἐπεχείρησαν» λεληθυῖαν ἔχει κατηγορίαν τῶν χωρὶς χαρίσματος ἐλθόντων ἐπὶ τὴν ἀναγραφὴν τῶν εὐαγγελίων. Ματθαῖος γὰρ οὐκ «ἐπεχείρησεν», ἀλλ' ἔγραψεν ἀπὸ ἁγίου πνεύματος, ὁμοίως καὶ Μᾶρκος καὶ Ἰωάννης, παραπλησίως δὲ καὶ Λουκᾶς. Τὸ μέντοι ἐπιγεγραμμένον κατὰ Αἰγυπτίους εὐαγγέλιον καὶ τὸ ἐπιγεγραμμένον τῶν Δώδεκα εὐαγγέλιον οἱ συγγράψαντες «ἐπεχείρησαν»· Ἤδη δὲ ἐτόλμησε καὶ Βασιλείδης γράψαι κατὰ Βασιλείδην εὐαγγέλιον. «Πολλοὶ μὲν οὖν ἐπεχείρησαν»· φέρεται γὰρ καὶ τὸ κατὰ Θωμᾶν εὐαγγέλιον καὶ τὸ κατὰ Ματθίαν καὶ ἄλλα πλείονα. Ταῦτά ἐστι τῶν ἐπιχειρησάντων· τὰ δὲ τέσσαρα μόνα προκρίνει ἡ τοῦ θεοῦ ἐκκλησία. / Just as formerly among the people many engaged in prophecy, but some of them were false prophets, and others were true prophets, and among the people there was the gift of discerning spirits, through which some among the prophets were received as true, others rejected as false, so now also in the New Testament many have taken in hand to write gospels, but not all have been received by the approved moneychangers, but only certain ones of them have been selected. That which he says about having taken in hand holds a latent accusation of those who hurried to write gospels without the gifting of the holy spirit. For Matthew did not take in hand to write, but wrote full of the holy spirit, and likewise Mark and John, like Luke himself. Those who took in hand to write wrote one which is written according to the Egyptians, another according to the twelve. Basilides also dared to write a gospel and to entitle it by his own name. Many have taken in hand to write. I know a certain gospel which is called according to Thomas, and one according to Matthias, and many others. But in all these, which were taken in hand, we approve nothing else except that which the church of God approves, that is, four gospels only.
Jerome, Prologue of the Four Gospels: Plures fuisse qui evangelia scripserunt, et Lucas evangelista testatur, dicens: Quoniam quidem multi conati sunt ordinare narrationem rerum, quae in nobis completae sunt, sicut tradiderunt nobis, qui ab initio ipsi viderunt sermonem, et ministraverunt ei; et perseverantia usque ad praesens tempus monimenta declarant, quae a diversis auctoribus edita, diversarum haereseon fuere principia, ut est illud iuxta Aegyptios, et Thomam, et Matthiam, et Bartholomaeum, duodecim quoque apostolorum, et Basilidis atque Apellis, ac reliquorum, quos enumerare longissimum est; cum hoc tantum in praesentiarum necesse sit dicere, exstitisse quosdam, qui sine spiritu et gratia dei conati sunt magis ordinare narrationem, quam historiae texere veritatem. quibus iure potest illud propheticum coaptari: Vae qui prophetant de corde suo, qui ambulant post spiritum suum, qui dicunt: Haec dicit dominus; et dominus non misit eos. de quibus et salvator in evangelio Ioannis loquitur: Omnes qui ante me venerunt fures fuerunt et latrones. qui venerunt, non qui missi sunt. ipse enim ait: Veniebant, et ego non mittebam eos. in venientibus praesumptio temeritatis; in missis obsequium servitutis est. ecclesia autem, quae supra petram domini voce fundata est, quam introduxit rex in cubiculum suum, et ad quam per foramen descensionis occultae misit manum suam, similis damulae hinnuloque cervorum, quatuor flumina paradisi instar eructans, quatuor et angulos et annulos habet, per quos quasi arca testamenti et custos legis domini, lignis immobilibus vehitur.
/ There have been many who wrote gospels as Luke the evangelist testifies, saying: Inasmuch as many have endeavored to set in order the narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word. Those of the documents that are even now extant, being published by a variety of authors, were the origins of a variety of heresies; examples are the gospel of the Egyptians, of Thomas, of Matthias, of Bartholomew, even of the twelve apostles, of Basilides and of Apelles, and of all the others whom it would take too long to list, since for present purposes it need only be remarked that certain people, lacking the spirit and grace of God, have endeavored more to set the narrative in order than to expound historical truth. To such as these one may fittingly apply the prophecy: Woe to those who prophesy from their own heart, who follow their own desire, who say: Thus says the Lord, and the Lord has not sent them. Of these even the savior speaks in the gospel of John: All who came before me were thieves and robbers. Who came, not who were sent. For he himself said: They came, yet I was not sending them. Those who come display rash presumption, those who are sent true obedience. Now the church which has been set upon the rock by the voice of the Lord, whom the king has led to his bedchamber and toward whom he secretly stretched out his hand through the opening, is like a little fallow deer, a young stag; like paradise it is the source of four rivers, and it has four corners and four rings by means of which it is carried by moveable poles as was the ark of the testament, the receptacle for the law of the Lord.