Character Study on Hermas

Character Study on Hermas

Romans 16: Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.

Chain Links

Topics

Dictionary

Holman Bible Dictionary - Hermas
(huhr' muhss) Christian to whom Paul sent greetings (Romans 16:14 ). His name, the variant spelling of the Greek god Hermes, may indicate he was a slave, since many slaves were named for gods. Some have tried to identify him with the author of “The Shepherd of Hermas,” but that is not likely. See Apostolic Fathers .



Easton's Bible Dictionary - Hermas
Mercury, a Roman Christian to whom Paul sends greetings (Romans 16 :: 14 ). Some suppose him to have been the author of the celebrated religious romance called The Shepherd, but it is very probable that that work is the production of a later generation.

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Hermas
HERMAS . A Christian at Rome, saluted in Romans 16:14 . The name is a common one, especially among slaves. Origen identifies this Hermas with the celebrated author of The Shepherd , a book considered by many in the 2nd cent. to be on a level with Scripture. For the disputed date of the book, which professes to record visions seen in the episcopate of Clement ( c [Note: circa, about.] . a.d. 90 100), but which is said in the Muratorian Fragment ( c [Note: circa, about.] . 180 200?) to have been written in the episcopate of Pius (not before a.d. 139), see Salmon’s Introd. to the NT , Lect. xxvi. But Origen’s identification is very improbable, the dates being scarcely compatible, and the name so common.

A. J. Maclean.

Fausset's Bible Dictionary - Hermas
One at Rome to whom Paul sends greeting (Romans 16:14). A Greek name. Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen attribute to him "The Shepherd," supposed by some to have been written in the episcopacy of Clement I; others deny Hermas of Romans 16 to be the author. Its author appears from internal evidence to have been married and to have had children, and to have been a lay mystic. Originally in Greek, but now only in a Latin version entire. An inferior kind of Pilgrim's Progress in three parts: the first has four visions, the second 12 spiritual precepts, the third ten similitudes shadowing forth each some truth. Each man, according to it, has a bad and a good angel, who endeavour to influence him for evil and good respectively.

Hitchcock's Bible Names - Hermas
Hermes
Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Hermas
(Ἑρμᾶς, Romans 16:14)

Hermas is a Greek name, a contracted form of several names such as Hermagoras, Hermeros, Hermodorus, Hermogenes, etc., common among members of the Imperial household (J. B. Lightfoot, Philippians4, 1878, p. 176), It is the last of a group of five names (all Greek) of persons, and ‘the brethren with them,’ saluted by St. Paul. Nothing is known of any member of the group. It is conjectured that together they formed a separate ἐκκλησία or ‘church,’ the locality of which we shall suppose to have been Rome or Ephesus, according to our view of the destination of these salutations. Cf. Romans 16:5; Romans 16:15 and perhaps Romans 16:11, and 1 Corinthians 16:19 and perhaps Acts 20:20. Possibly these five men were heads of five separate household churches, or leaders or office-bearers in the Church.

T. B. Allworthy.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Hermas (Greek God)
(Ἑρμῆς, Romans 16:14)

Hermas was a very common Greek name, being the name of the popular Greek god. Lightfoot remarks that, in the Imperial household inscriptions, not less than a score of persons might be counted who bore this name about the date of Romans (Philippians4, 1878, p. 176). In the NT it is found as the third of a group of five names (all Greek) of Christians saluted by St. Paul (See Hermas). It is significant that a Christian should have no scruple in retaining as his name the name of one of the gods. Another instance is Nereus (Romans 16:15).

T. B. Allworthy.

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Hermas Shepherd of
This valuable and interesting relic of the life and thought of the early Roman Church may be described as a manual of personal religion, cast in an imaginative form. It has been compared in the latter respect with Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, with Dante’s Divina Commedia, and with the visions of such mystics as St. Teresa and St. Catherine of Siena. Whether it be looked upon as a work of allegorical fiction, or, as G. Salmon strennuously maintains (Historical Introduction to the NT5, p. 529ff.), a record of actual dream experience, or again, as may well be, a combination of both, its strong moral earnestness and its didactic purpose are equally apparent. It is primarily a call to repentance, addressed to Christians among whom the memory of persecution is still fresh (Vis. iii. 2, 5, Sim. ix. 28), and over whom now hangs the shadow of another great tribulation (Vis. ii. 2, iv. 2). From the first Vision, with its revelation of the sinfulness of sins of thought, and of neglect of responsibility for others, to the last Parable, where the greatness of the Shepherd, the supernatural Being ‘to whom alone in the whole world hath authority over repentance been assigned’ (Sim. x. 1), is ordered to be declared to men, the theme is repentance and amendment of life.

Indeed, the little book would almost seem to have been written partly as an attempt to break through the iron ring of despair resulting from a rigorous acceptance of those words in the Epistle to the Hebrews which speak of the impossibility of repentance for sin committed after baptism (Hebrews 6:6; Hebrews 12:17). The subject is discussed in the Fourth Commandment (Mand. iv. 3) in a curiously simple manner. The authority of this teaching is admitted verbally, and then an exception is made, which covers the whole teaching of the book. ‘I have heard. Sir,’ says Hermas, ‘from certain teachers, that there is no other repentance, save that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained remission of our former sins.’ The Shepherd replies that this is so. They that have believed, or shall believe, have not repentance, but only remission of their former sins. He then, however, goes on to say that, if after this great and holy calling any one, being tempted of the devil, shall commit sin, he hath only one (opportunity of) repentance. This one opportunity, however, would seem to be embodied in the Shepherd himself, who was sent ‘to be with you who repent with your whole heart, and to strengthen you in the faith’ (Hebrews 12:6), and whose command to Hennas is, ‘Go, and tell all men to repent, and they shall live unto God; for the Lord in His compassion sent me to give repentance to all, though some of them do not deserve it, for their deeds’ (Sim. viii. 11).

1. Authorship.-There are a few references scattered through the work to the circumstances of its author. He had originally been a slave, and was sold to one Rhoda, in Rome (Vis. i. 1). After his freedom he had engaged in business and prospered (iii. 6), but he had been corrupted by the affairs of this world (i., iii.), practising deception in the course of his business (Mand. iii.). However, he had lost his riches, and become useful and profitable unto life (Vis. iii. 6). His worldly loss seems to have been connected with the misdeeds of his children (i., iii.), who had not been very strictly looked after by him. His wife is represented as a person who did not sufficiently restrain her tongue (ii. 2). Hermas depicts himself as slow of understanding, but insatiable in curiosity (Mand. xii. 4, Sim. v. 5), and at the same time as ‘patient and good tempered and always smiling,’ ‘full of all simplicity and of great guilelessness’ (Vis. i. 2).

The scene is laid partly in the house of Hermas in Rome, partly in the country where he abides (Vis. iii. 1), and once in Arcadia (Sim. ix. 1). Mention is made of the road to Cumae, the Campanian Way, and the river Tiber, in which Hermas sees Rhoda bathing (Vis. i. 1).

To the question who Hermas was there are three possible answers. (1) He may, as Origen supposes in his Commentary on Romans (x. 31 [p. 683]), have been the Scriptural character mentioned by St. Paul as a member of the Roman Church c. [Note: . circa, about.] a.d. 58 (Romans 16:14). (2) According to the Muratorian fragment (circa, about a.d. 180), he was brother of Pope Pius I. during his Episcopate (circa, about a.d. 140-155). (3) He may have been an otherwise unknown person who was a contemporary of Pope Clement (circa, about a.d. 90-100). This theory involves the identification of the Church official mentioned in Vis. ii. 4 with the Bishop of Rome. ‘Thou shalt therefore write two little books, and shalt send one to Clement.… So Clement shall send to the foreign cities, for this is his duty.’ Of these views Lightfoot with some diffidence prefers the second, while G. Salmon, Zahn, and others accept the third (see J. B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, 294; G. Salmon, Introduction to the NT5, 46, 534).

2. Date and use by the Church.-Whether the work was written in the beginning or in the middle of the 2nd cent., there is evidence of its wide circulation soon after the latter date. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons in a.d. 177, accepted it and spoke of it as Scripture. ‘Well did the Scripture speak, saying, etc.’ (ap. Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.)v. 8). Clem. Alex. quotes it several times (e.g. Strom. I. xxix. 181), while Origen in the passage above referred to speaks of it as a very useful, and, as he thinks, Divinely-inspired writing. Tertullian approved of it in his pre-Montanist days, but afterwards condemned it (de Pudic.10). The author of the Muratorian Canon, while seeking to deprecate the public reading of the Shepherd in church, commends it for private use.

‘But the “Shepherd” was written quite lately in our times by Hermas, while his brother Pius, the bishop, was sitting in the chair of the Church of the city of Rome; and therefore it ought indeed to be read, but it cannot to the end of lime be publicly read in the Church to the people, either among the prophets, who are complete in number, or among the Apostles.’

3. Contents.-The book is divided up into five Visions, twelve Mandates or Commandments, and ten Similitudes or Parables. The Visions form the introduction to the rest, the Shepherd not appearing until the last of these. The following outline will give an idea of the purport of the work as a whole.

(1) Visions.-In the first Vision Hermas tells now, while journeying to Cumae, he saw in the opened heavens Rhoda, his former owner, whom he had recently met again, and whom he had begun to esteem as a sister. She rebukes him for an unchaste thought towards herself, and leaves him aghast at the strictness of God’s judgment. Then he sees a great white chair of snow-white wool upon which an aged lady in shining raiment seats herself. She tells Hermas that what God is really wroth about is his lack of strictness with his family whereby his children have become corrupt. She then reads from a book the glories of God, but Hermas can only remember the last words, for the rest is too terrible to bear. She rises, the chair is carried away towards the east by four young men, and two other men assist her to depart in the same direction. As she goes, she smiles and says, ‘Play the man, Hermas.’

The second Vision takes place a year later, and in the same locality. The aged lady again appears, and gives him a little book that he may copy its contents and report them to the elect of God. He copies it letter for letter, for he cannot make out the syllables, and when he has finished, the book is snatched away by an unseen hand. After fifteen days the meaning is revealed to Hermas, who is directed to rebuke his children for their wickedness, and his wife for her faults of the tongue, as well as to exhort the rulers of the Church. A great tribulation is at hand, with danger of apostasy by Christians. One Maximus, in particular, is to be warned against a second denial. Then it is revealed that the aged woman is not, as Hermas supposes, the Sibyl, but the Church, created before all things. He is directed by her to write two copies of the book, after the revelation is finished, and send one to Clement that he may send it to the foreign cities, and one to Grapte that she may instruct the widows and the orphans. Hermas is to read it to the city along with the elders that preside over the Church.

The main part of the third Vision is the revelation by the lady of the Church under the image of a tower being built by angels upon the waters of baptism. The stones of various degrees of suitability (some of them castaway), are explained to mean different kinds of members of the Church, among whom are ‘apostles and bishops and teachers and deacons,’ and ‘they that suffered for the name of the Lord.’ The tower is supported by seven women. Faith, Continence, Simplicity, Knowledge, Guilelessness, Reverence, and Love. Hermas is next commissioned to rebuke the self-indulgence of the well-to-do and the ignorance and divisions of the rulers of the Church. He inquires why the lady was aged and weak in the first Vision, more youthful and joyous in the second, and still more so in the third, and learns that these appearances were the reflexion of his own changing spiritual state.

The fourth Vision occurs twenty days later, on the Campanian Way. Hermas sees a huge cloud of dust, which resolves itself into the form of a beast like a sea-monster, emitting fiery locusts from its mouth. Its length is about a hundred feet, and its head was as it were of pottery, coloured black, fire and blood-colour, gold and white. This is a type of the impending tribulation, but it does not harm Hermas, for the angel Segri has shut its mouth. The colours represent this world (black), the blood and fire in which it must perish, those that have escaped from the world (gold), and the coming age (while).

The fifth episode is called a revelation (Ἀποκάλυψις, not Ὄρασις). The shepherd, the angel of repentance, now appears for the first time, glorious in visage, with sheepskin wallet and staff. He has been sent by the most holy angel to dwell with Hermas for the rest of his life. Hermas at first fails to recognize him as the being to whom he was delivered, but on recognition proceeds to write down the Commandments and the Parables dictated by the Shepherd.

(2) Mandates.-The first Commandment is to believe in and to fear the One God, the Creator, the incomprehensible (ἀχώρητος), and to practise continence; the second to avoid slander, whether by hearing or by speaking it, and to be generous of the needy; the third to abstain from falsehood; the fourth to be pure in thought as well as in deed. An adulterous wife is to be divorced, if unrepentant, but her husband may not marry again, for that would be committing adultery. If she repents after divorce her husband sins if he does not receive her again (after baptism only one opportunity of repentance is given, over which the Shepherd has authority). If a husband or a wife die, the other may marry without sin, but to remain single is better. The fifth Commandment enjoins longsuffering, the opposite of ill-temper (ὀξυχολία), that most evil spirit which causes bitterness, wrath, anger, and spite. The next three Mandates expand the provisions of the first-faith, fear, and temperance. Contrasts are drawn between the two ways (and the two angels) of righteousness and wickedness, between the fear of God and the fear of the devil, and between temperance as to what is evil, and indulgence in what is good. The ninth Commandment extols faith in prayer, and condemns doubtful-mindedness, while the tenth exhorts Hermas to be clothed in cheerfulness and to put away sadness. In the eleventh striking descriptions are given of the false prophet, who absents himself from the Christian assembly, and is consulted as a soothsayer by men in corners, and of the true prophet upon whom the Divine afflatus comes in the course of the Church’s worship. The last Commandment is to banish evil desire by the cultivation of desire which is good and holy.

(3) Similitudes.-The first Parable is a simple expansion of the theme that the Christian is a sojourner in a foreign city, and should act as a citizen of the city which is his true home. In the second the duty of the rich to give to the poor is illustrated by the figure of an elm and a vine. The former, though Fruitless, supports the fruitful vine. So the intercessions of the poor man prevail on behalf of the wealthy benefactor. In the nest two, a similitude is drawn between trees in winter, when all are leafless, and all seem equally withered, and in summer, when some are sprouting, while others remain withered. The winter represents the conditions of this world, the summer those of the world to come. The fifth Parable presents the story of a vineyard, a master, and a faithful servant, the exposition of which reveals an early belief in the doctrine of works of supererogation, and an Adoptianist conception of the personality of the Son of Cod (see below). In the next, two shepherds are shown, one of pleasant mien sporting with his sheep, the other of sour countenance lashing his flock with a whip and otherwise maltreating them. The former is the angel of self-indulgence and deceit, the latter the angel of punishment. A few days later Hermas is afflicted by this angel of punishment, and in the seventh Parable he is taught that this is because of the sins of his household. The nest two are long and complicated. First Hermas sees a great willow tree (the Law of God, which is the Son of God preached unto the ends of the earth) under which stands a multitude of believers. A glorious angel (Michael) cuts rods from the tree and gives them to the people, who in due course return them in great variety of condition-withered, grub-eaten, cracked, green, some with shoots, and some with a kind of fruit. These last are those who have suffered for Christ. They are crowned and sent into the tower with some of the others. The remainder are left to the care of the Shepherd, who, as the angel of repentance, plants the rods in the earth, and deals with the owners according to the results. The ninth Parable is an amplification of the third Vision. Hermas, seated on a mountain in Arcadia, sees a great plain surrounded by twelve mountains, each of which has a different appearance. These are the tribes of the world, varying in understanding and conduct. In the midst of the plain is a great and ancient rock, with a recently-hewn gate in it. This is the Son of God, older than creation, and yet recently made manifest. Upon the rock a tower (the Church) is being built by angels, of stones that are brought through the gate. The first course is of ten stones, the second of twenty-five, the third of thirty-five, the fourth of forty. These are the first and the second generation of righteous men, the prophets and ministers, and the apostles and teachers. These stones come from the deep, and the rest come from the mountains. Some are suitable and other’s are rejected. The Shepherd, as in the former Parable, deals with the latter, to fit those that are capable for a place in the building. A curious feature is the introduction of the Son of God, already symbolized by the rock and the gate, as the glorious man who inspects the tower and rejects certain of the stones. The purport of the concluding Parable is an exhortation to Hermas to keep the Shepherd’s commandments and to publish them to others.

4. References to organization and doctrine of the Church

(a) Organization.-In the first respect, the allusions are too slight to give more than a general picture. We read of the rulers (προηγούμενοι) of the Church, whom Hermas is directed to exhort (Vis. ii. 2) and even to rebuke for their divisions and their ignorance (iii. 9). There are apostles, bishops, teachers, and deacons (iii. 5), also prophets and ministers (διάκονοι; Sim. ix. 15). There are deacons who plunder the livelihood of widows and orphans, and make gain from the performance of their office (ix. 26), and, on the other hand, bishops who exercise hospitality and are like trees sheltering sheep, receiving into their houses the servants of God at all times, and sheltering the needy and the widows in their visitation (ix. 27). Clement, whose duty is to communicate with foreign cities, may, as we have seen, have been the bishop of Rome, while Grapte, who instructs the widows and the orphans, may have been a deaconess (Vis. ii. 4). Hermas, who is told to read his book to the city along with the elders who preside over the Church (μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων τῶν προϊσταμένων τῆς ἐκκλησίας), may well have been one of the order of prophets. The office of a prophet is held in estimation by the Church. ‘When then the man who hath the divine Spirit cometh into an assembly (συναγωγή) of righteous men, who have faith in a divine Spirit, and intercession is made to God by the gathering of those men, then the angel of the prophetic spirit who is attached to him, filleth the man, and the man, being filled with the Holy Spirit, speaketh to the multitude, according as the Lord willeth’ (Mand. xi.). The false prophet, on the contrary, is dumb in the Church assembly, and plies a wizard’s trade in corners. In view of the Roman character of the Shepherd, it is interesting to note that the tower which represents the Church is represented as founded, not on Peter, but, in the third Vision, upon the waters of baptism, and, in the ninth Parable, upon the rock of the Son of God.

(b) Doctrine.-The doctrinal references reveal, at least in the case of Hermas, a creed which is simple and yet has its own peculiarities. Perhaps the most striking of the latter is the conception of the Son of God. In the Parable of the vineyard (the fifth) the Son of God is represented as a slave placed in charge, with a promise of freedom if he fulfils his allotted duty. He does so much more than is expected of him that the Divine master of the vineyard resolves that he shall be made joint-heir with His Son, who is represented as the Holy Spirit. ‘The Holy Pre-existent Spirit, which created the whole creation, God made to dwell in flesh that He desired. This flesh therefore, in which the Holy Spirit dwelt, was subject unto the Spirit … When then it had lived honourably in chastity, and had laboured with the Spirit, and had co-operated with it in everything, behaving itself boldly and bravely, He chose it as a partner with the Holy Spirit’ (Sim. v. 6). This Adoptianist conception, which illustrates early Roman speculation on the Person of Christ, finds frequent expression in phrases identifying the Spirit with the Son of God, e.g. ‘For that Spirit is the Son of God’ (ix. 1). In this same fifth Parable we have an early trace of the doctrine of works of supererogation, which, in mediaeval times, was so prominent in the Church’s system. ‘If thou do any good thing outside the commandment of God, thou shalt win for thyself more exceeding glory, and shalt be more glorious in the sight of God than thou wouldest otherwise have been’ (v. 3).

Hermas also teaches that the first apostles and teachers who had died, went like Christ, and preached unto the Spirits in prison (ix. 16). His eschatology is in one respect severe and narrow. Not only are unrepentant sinners to be burned, but also the Gentiles, because of their ignorance of God (iv.). In the fifth Vision there is an apparent reference to the belief in guardian angels. When the Shepherd at first appears, Hermas fails to recognize him, as apparently he should have done.* [Note: Another explanation is that a previous Vision may have dropped out from the MSS which have come down to us.] to be the being to whom he was ‘delivered,’ and only when the visitant changes his form does recognition come. It seems curious that while Baptism is plainly mentioned two or three times (Vis. iii, 3, Mand. iv. 3, Sim. ix. 16) the Lord’s Supper does not appear to be alluded to. Fasting is often mentioned, and once we find Hermas keeping a ‘station,’ as the early fast-days were called (Sim. v. 1). In this case he is commanded, not to abstain entirely from food, but to take bread and water.

While Hermas shows fewer traces of the influence of St. Paul than of that of St. James, with whose Epistle he shows great familiarity, he need not be definitely classed as a Judaizer. His office is that of a prophet, and his mission is to recall Christians from the danger of too intimate contact with pagan social influence. He speaks of those ‘who have never investigated concerning the truth, nor enquired concerning the deity, but have merely believed, and have been mixed up in business affairs and riches and heathen friendships, and many other affairs of this world’ (Mand. x. 1), as specially without understanding and corrupt. Hence his standard of Christian duty is put in the most practical shape: ‘faith, fear of the Lord, love, concord, words of righteousness, truth, patience, … to minister to widows, to visit the orphans and the needy, to ransom the servants, of God from their afflictions, to be hospitable, … to resist no man, to be tranquil, to show yourself more submissive than all men,’ etc. (viii.). The indwelling of the Spirit of God is a feature of Christian life prominently insisted on, and if intermediate. beings like Faith, Continence, Power, Longsuffering (Sim. ix. 15) seem to shape the Christian character, these are declared to be ‘powers of the Son of God’ (ix. 13), God is the Creator alike of the world and of the Church. ‘Behold, the God of Hosts, who by His invisible and mighty power and by His great wisdom created the world, and by His glorious purpose clothed His creation with comeliness, and by His strong word fixed the heaven, and founded the earth upon the waters, and by His own wisdom and providence formed His holy Church, which also He blessed’ (Vis. ii. 3).

Hermas, who was evidently acquainted with the contents of the Didache, does not directly cite Scripture by name, but he continually uses Scriptural words and ideas, handling them with a light touch, and working them into new combinations. C. Taylor (The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels) has investigated these allusions minutely, and considers Hermas to be a valuable witness to the Canon, especially in the case of the four Gospels. He finds in the four feet of the couch in the third Vision (13), with the associated cryptic utterance ‘for the world too is upheld by means of four elements,’ the source of the famous saying of Irenaeus that there can be neither more nor fewer than four Gospels, because there are four regions of the world, and four catholic winds, etc. (see p. 13ff.). There is a citation of the lost work Eland and Medad (Vis. ii. 3), and Segri, the name of the angel who shuts the monster’s month in Vis. iv. 2, is a word derived from the Hebrew verb in Daniel 6:22 ‘shut the lions’ months’ (The Johns Hopkins University Circular, April, 1884, iii. 75).

5. Text and Versions.-There is no complete Greek text of the Shepherd. About the first quarter of it is contained in the 4th cent. Sinaitic manuscript (א), while the Athos manuscript (A) written in the 14th cent. is the authority for the rest of the work, except the concluding portion, from Sim. ix. 30 to the end, which has to be supplied from the Latin versions. These are two in number, the so-called Old Latin Version (L) found in about twenty Manuscripts , and the Palatine Version (L2) existing in one manuscript of the 14th century. There is also an Ethiopic Version (E) published in 1860 with a Latin translation (see J. B. Lightfoot, Apostolic Fathers, p. 295).

Literature.-J. B. Lightfoot, The Apostolic Fathers, I vol., London, 1891; O. von Gebhardt and A. Harnack, Patrum Apost. Opera, Fasc. iii., Leipzig, 1877; F. X. Funk, Patres Apostolici, Tübingen, 1901; C. Taylor, The Shepherd of Hermas (Translation, Introduction, and Notes), London, 1903-1906; T. Zahn, Der Hirt des Hermas, Gotha, 1868; A. Hilgenfeld, Hermœ Pastor, Leipzig, 1887; C. Taylor, The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels, London, 1892; [Bp. Fell], Barnabas and Hermas, Oxford, 1685; G. Salmon, Historical Introduction to NT5, London, 1891.

A. Mitchell.

 

 

Morrish Bible Dictionary - Hermas
A Christian to whom Paul sent salutations in his epistle to the Romans. Romans 16:14 . Some have judged him to be one of the Apostolic Fathers, and the writer of a treatise called "THE SHEPHERD OF HERMAS,"which was highly esteemed in the early church. It is a sort of allegory, and has been compared to Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Parts of it are very trivial, and some scarcely decent. It is found attached to the Greek manuscript of the N.T., known as the Codex Sinaiticus, and exists in several ancient Latin copies.

A Dictionary of Early Christian Biography - Hermas, Known as the Shepherd
Hermas (2). In the latter half of the 2nd cent. there was in circulation a book of visions and allegories purporting to be written by one Hermas and commonly known as The Shepherd. This book was treated with respect bordering on that paid to the canonical Scriptures of N.T. and was publicly read in some churches. A passage from it is quoted by Irenaeus (iv. 20 p. 253) with the words "Well said the Scripture," a fact which Eusebius notes (H. E. v. 8). Probably n the time of Irenaeus the work was publicly read in the Gallican churches. The mutilated commencement of the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria opens in the middle of a quotation from The Shepherd and about ten times elsewhere he cites the book always with a complete acceptance of the reality and divine character of the revelations made to Hermas but without suggesting who Hermas was or when he lived. Origen who frequently cites the book (in Rom. xvi. 14 vol. iv. p. 683) considered it divinely inspired. He suggests as do others after him but apparently on no earlier authority that it was written by the Hermas mentioned in Rom_16:14. His other quotations shew that less favourable views of the book were current in his time. They are carefully separated from quotations from the canonical books and he generally adds a saving clause giving the reader permission to reject them; he speaks of it (in Matt. xix. 7 vol. iii. p. 644) as a book current in the church but not acknowledged by all and (de Princ. iv. 11) as despised by some. Eusebius (iii. 25) places the book among the orthodox νόθα with the Acts of Paul Revelation of Peter Epistle of Barnabas etc. Elsewhere (iii. 3) while unable to place it among the ὁμολογουμένα because rejected by some he records its public use in churches and by some most eminent writers and that it was judged by some most necessary for elementary instruction in the faith. Athanasius (Ep. Fest. 39 vol. i. pt. ii. p. 963) classes it with some of the deutero-canonical books of O.T. and with The Teaching of the Apostles as not canonical but useful for catechetical instruction. It is found in the Sinaitic MS. following the Ep. of Barnabas as an appendix to the N.T. After the 4th cent. it rapidly passed out of ecclesiastical use in the East.

The Western tradition deserves more attention, as internal evidence shews the book to have been composed at Rome. The MURATORIAN FRAGMENT on the Canon tells us that it had been written during the episcopate of Pius by his brother Hernias, a period which the writer speaks of as within then living memory. He concludes that the book ought to be read but not publicly in the church among the prophetic writings, the number of which was complete, nor among the apostolic. The statement that the book not only might but ought to be read is a high recognition of the value attributed to it by the writer, and we gather that at least in some places its use in church was then such as to lead some to regard it as on a level with the canonical Scriptures. Tertullian, in one of his earliest treatises, de Oratione, has a reference to its influence on the practice of churches which shews it to have enjoyed high authority at the time, an authority which Tertullian's argument does not dispute. It had probably been used in church reading and translated into Latin, since Tertullian describes it by the Latin title Pastor, and not by a Greek title, as he usually does in the case of Greek writings. Some ten years later, after Tertullian had become a Montanist, and the authority of The Shepherd is urged in behalf of readmitting adulterers to communion, he rejects the book as not counted worthy of inclusion in the canon, but placed by every council, even those of the Catholic party, among false and apocryphal writings ( de Pudic. c. 10). Quoting Hebrews, he says that this is at least more received than that apocryphal Shepherd of the adulterers (c. 20). The phrase "more received" warns us to take cum grano Tertullian's assertion as to the universal rejection of The Shepherd; but doubtless the distinction between apostolic and later writings was then drawn more sharply, and in the interval between Tertullian's two writings The Shepherd may have been excluded from public reading in many churches which before had admitted it. The Liberian papal catalogue (probably here, as elsewhere, following the catalogue of Hippolytus) states that under the episcopate of Pius his brother Ermas wrote a book in which the commands and precepts were contained which the angel gave him when he came to him in the habit of a shepherd. Yet, while refusing to assign the book to apostolic times, it makes no doubt of the reality of the angelic appearance to Hermas. Later biographical notices of popes state that the message given to Hermas was that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday. These clearly shew that by then all knowledge of the book had been lost; and further notices shew a confusion between the name of Hermas and that of his book, which imply that the book was no longer in use. Jerome, when quoting Eusebius about the book ( de Vir. Ill. 10, vol. ii. 845), adds that among the Latins it was almost unknown. He speaks contemptuously of it ( in Habac. i. 14, vol. vi. 604), for it seems certain that the book of Hermas is here referred to. It is marked in the Gelasian decree as apocryphal. Notwithstanding, there;are indications that some use of the book continued in the West, e.g. the fact being that there still exist some 20 MSS. of the Latin version. In the African church of the 4th cent. we find f rom the list in the Codex Claromontanus (Westcott, Canon N. T. p. 557) that it was placed with the Acts of Paul and the Revelation of St. Peter as an appendix to the N.T. books; and it occupies a similar place in the Sinaitic MS., the only Greek Bible known to have contained it. But in some existing Latin MSS. it is placed with the apocryphal books of O.T.

The book is in three parts. The first part consists of visions. Hermas tells that he who had brought him up had sold him to Rome to a lady named Rhoda; that after a considerable time he renewed his acquaintance with her and began to love her as a sister; that he saw her one day bathing in the Tiber and assisted her out of the water ; that admiring her beauty he thought how happy he should be if he had a wife like her in person and disposition. Further than this his thought did not go. But a little time after he had a vision. He fell asleep, and in his dream was walking and struggling on ground so rugged and broken that it was impossible to pass. At length he succeeded in crossing the water by which his path had been washed away, and coming into smooth ground knelt to confess his sins to God. Then the heavens were opened and he saw Rhoda saluting him from the sky. On his asking her what she did there, she told him that she had been taken up to accuse him, because God was angry with him for having sinned in thought against her. Then Hermas was overwhelmed with horror and fear, not knowing how he could abide the severity of God's judgment, if such a thought as his was marked as sin. Rhoda now passes out of his dream and he sees a venerable aged lady clad in shining garments sitting on a great white chair and holding a book in her hand. She asks why he, usually so cheerful, is now so sad. On telling her, she owns what a sin any impure thought would be in one so chaste, so singleminded and so innocent as he; but tells him that this is not why God is displeased with him, but because of the sins of his children, whom he, through false indulgence, had allowed to corrupt themselves, but to whom repentance was open if he would warn them. Then she reads to him out of her book, but of all she reads he can remember nothing save the last comforting sentence, and that all which preceded was terrible and threatening. She parted from him with the words, "Play the man, Hermas." Hermas was an elderly man with a grown-up family, and Rhoda must have been at least as old as himself. If the tale is an invented one, this is certainly an incongruity; but if it be a true story, it is quite conceivable that the thought may have occurred to Hermas, who seems to have been not happy in his family relations, how much happier it would have been for him if Rhoda had been his wife; and that afterwards, in a dream, this thought may have recurred to his memory as a sin to be repented of. The vision presents all the characteristics of a real dream; the want of logical connexion between the parts, the changes of scene, the fading out of Rhoda as principal figure and the appearance of the aged lady in her room; the substitution of quite a different offence for the sinful thought which weighed on his conscience at the beginning; the physical distress in his sleep at first presenting the idea of walking on and on without being able to find an outlet, afterwards of mental grief at words spoken to him; the long reading of which only the words spoken immediately before awaking are remembered,—all these indicate that we are reading not a literary invention like the dream of the Pilgrim's Progress, but the recital, a little dressed up it may be, of a dream which the narrator really had. In another vision, a year after, he saw again the lady and her book, and received the book to copy, but still it conveyed no idea to his mind. He then set himself by fasting and prayer to learn its meaning, and after about a fortnight was gratified. He learns, too, that the lady is not, as he had imagined, the sibyl, but the church, and that she appeared as old because she was created first of all, and for her sake the world was made. Ephesians, which probably suggested this doctrine of the pre-existence of the church, is one of the N.T. books of whose use by Hermas there are clear traces. In subsequent visions we have a different account of the matter; he sees in each a woman more and more youthful in appearance, whom he is taught to identify with the church of his former vision; and it is explained that he saw her old at first because the spirit of Christians had been broken by infirmity and doubt, and afterwards more youthful as by the revelations made him their spirit had been renewed. After his first two visions Hermas watched eagerly for new revelations, and set himself to obtain them by fasting and prayer. In those later visions, while the pictures presented to his mind are such as we can well believe to have been dream representations, the explanations given of them have a coherence only to be found in the thoughts of a waking man. This is still more true of the second and third parts of the work. At the end of the first part he has the vision in which he sees a man dressed like a shepherd, who tells him that he is the angel of repentance and the guardian to whose care he had been entrusted. >From this shepherd he receives, for his instruction and that of the church, the "Commandments," which form the second, and the "Similitudes," which form the third part of the work. The Similitudes were probably suggested by N.T. parables, though the frigid compositions of Hermas fall infinitely below these.

The literary merits of the work of Herman are of little importance compared with the fundamental question as to the date of the book and whether it claims to be an inspired document, the writer of which aspires to no literary merit, save that of faithfully recording the revelations made him. Are we to suppose that Hernias in relating his visions intended no more than to present edifying lessons in an allegorical form, and that it was merely as an instructive fiction that the book was regarded when it was introduced into public reading in the church? Donaldson says: "If the book be not inspired, then either the writer fancied he had seen these visions, or tried to make other people fancy this, or he clothed the work in a fictitious form designedly and undisguisedly. If he did the first, he must have been silly. If he did the second he must have been an impostor." But as he believes the author to have been "an honest upright, and thoughtful man," he concludes that he did the third, "as multitudes of others have done after him, with John Bunyan at their head." If we took this view we could lay no stress on anything the author tells us about himself and his family. These details might be fictitious, as the angels, the towers, and the beasts of the visions. We could not even assume that his name was Hermas for the narrator of the visions, who bears this name, might be an imaginary personage But we ourselves feel bound to reject this as altogether mistaken criticism, and as an application to the 2nd cent. of the standards of to-day. To us it seems plain that, whatever the author intended, the first readers of Hermas did not receive the book as mere allegorical fiction. Bunsen (Hippolytus and his Age, i. 315) tells us that Niebuhr used to pity the Athenian ( sic, Qu. Roman? ) Christians for being obliged to listen to this "good but dull novel." If the authorities of the church regarded it merely as a novel, would they have appointed it for public reading? At the end of the century Clement and others shew no doubt of the reality of the visions Were the men of a couple of generations earlier likely to have been more severe in their judgments, and would an angelic appearance seem to them so incredible that one who related it would be regarded as the narrator of a fiction that he did not intend to be believed? The book itself contains directions to the rulers of the Roman church to send the volume to foreign churches. If we suppose it really was sent to them stamped as a prophetic writing by the authority of the Roman church, we have an explanation of the consideration, only second to that of the canonical Scriptures, which it enjoyed in so many distant churches. A man at the present day might publish a story of visions, and be persuaded that his readers would not take him seriously, but no one in the 2nd cent. would be entitled to hold such a persuasion, and if the book of Hermas was accepted as inspired, the writer cannot be acquitted of the responsibility of having foreseen and intended this result. Mosheim, de Rebus Christ. ante Const. 163, 166, holds that the writer must either have been "mente captus et fanaticus," or else "scientem volentemque fefellisse," the latter being the opinion to which he inclines, believing that the lawfulness of pious frauds was a fixed opinion with many Christians at the date of the composition we are discussing We maintain, however, that it is possible to disbelieve in the inspiration of Hermas without imputing folly either to him who made the claim or to those who admitted it We must not regard the men of the 2nd cent. as fools because their views as to God's manner of teaching His church were different from those which the experience of so many following centuries has taught us. A Christian cannot regard them as fools for believing that in the time of our Lord and His apostles a great manifestation of the supernatural was made to the world. How long and to what extent similar manifestations would present themselves in. the ordinary life of the church only experience could skew, and they are not to be scorned if their expectations have not been borne out by later experience. In particular, if we are to set down as fools all who have believed that supernatural intimations may be given in dreams, our list would be a long one, and would include many eminent names; and though modern science may regard visions as phenomena admitting a natural explanation, it is not reasonable to expect such a view from the science of the 2nd cent. What Hermas tells of his personal history and of the times and circumstances of his visions conveys to us the impression of artless truth. His information about himself is contained in incidental allusions, not very easy to piece together; and the author of a fictitious narrative would not have conveyed so obscurely what he tells about his hero. He would probably also have made him a man of some eminence, holding high church office, whereas Hermas always speaks of the presbyters as if he were not one of them, and could have no motive for making his hero one engaged in trade unsuccessfully and not very honestly, and an elderly man with a termagant wife and ill brought-up children. On the other hand, if the book be true history, it is very much to the point that Hermas should get a revelation, directing his wife to keep her tongue in better order, and his children to pay more respect to their parents; nor need we suppose Hermas guilty of dishonesty in thus turning his gift of prophecy to the advantage of his family comfort; for nothing can be more natural than that the thoughts which troubled his waking moments should present themselves in his visions. There is nothing incredible in the supposition that the pictures of the first vision did present themselves to the mind of Hernias as he relates them. They must have been very vivid, and have impressed him strongly. Still, it is a year before he has another vision. After this he begins to fast and pray and look out eagerly for more revelations. Finally he comes to believe himself to be under the constant guardianship of the shepherd angel of repentance, and he ascribes all the lessons he desires to teach to the inspiration of this heavenly monitor. But perhaps his language expresses no more than his belief in the divine inspiration under which he wrote, for elsewhere he states that he does not regard the personages of his visions as having objective reality, and those things which in the earlier part are represented as spoken to him by the church are afterwards said to have been spoken by God's Spirit under the form of the church. That be sincerely believed himself to be the bearer of a divine message appears to be the case. A summary of his convictions would serve also for those of a man in many respects very unlike, Savonarola ( a ) that the church of his time had corrupted itself, and had become deeply tainted with worldliness; (b ) that a time of great tribulation was at hand, in which the dross should be purged away; (c ) that there was still an intervening time, during which repentance was possible and would be accepted; (d ) that he was himself divinely commissioned to preach that repentance.

Date and Authorship.—Antiquity furnishes authority for three suppositions: (a) the author was the Hermas to whom a salutation is sent in Rom_16:14; or (b) brother to Pius bp. of Rome at the middle of the 2nd cent.; or (c) contemporary with Clement who was bishop at the very beginning of that century or the end of the preceding. The first may be set aside as a highly improbable guess of Origen. The author shews no wish to be taken for the apostolic Hermas but distinctly speaks of the apostles as all dead. A forger could have found many more suitable names than Hermas one of the least prominent in N.T. and of which except in connexion with this book there is no trace in ecclesiastical tradition. If our view of the book be correct the author had no motive for antedating it. His prophecy announced tribulation close at hand and only a short intervening period for repentance. To represent such a prophecy as being already 50 or 100 years old would be to represent it as having failed and in fact The Shepherd did lose credit when it had been so long in existence. Hermas seems to have thought that if the worldliness of the church could be repented of and reformed it would be possible to keep it pure during the brief remainder of its existence. He announced therefore forgiveness on repentance for sins of old Christians prior to the date of his revelation but none for those of new converts or for sins subsequent to his revelation. To date his revelation 50 years back would have defeated his own purpose and made his message inapplicable to those whom he addressed. Again the acceptance of the book by the church of Rome is inexplicable if it were introduced by no known person containing as it does revelations purporting to have been given among themselves and to a leading member of their church. If the first readers of the work of Elchesai or of the Clementine homilies asked Why did we never hear of these things before? these books had provided an answer in the fiction that the alleged authors had only communicated them under a pledge of strict secrecy; in this book on the contrary Hermas is directed (Vis. iii. 8) to go after three days and speak in the hearing of all the saints the words he had heard in his vision. Elsewhere he enables us to understand how this direction could be carried out. We learn (Mand. 11) that certain persons were then recognized in the church as having prophetic gifts and that at the Christian meetings for worship if after prayer ended one of them were filled with the Holy Spirit he might speak unto the people as the Lord willed. The simplest explanation how the Roman Church came to believe in its inspiration seems then to be that it had previously admitted the inspiration of its author that he held the position of a recognized prophet as in the East did Quadratus and Ammia of Philadelphia (Eus. H. E. v. 16) and that he really did publicly deliver his message in the church assembly. As the 2nd cent. went on the public exercise of prophetic powers in the church seems to have ceased and when revived by Montanus and his followers had to encounter much opposition. The ensuing controversy led the church to insist more strongly on the distinction between the inspiration of the canonical writers and that of holy men of later times and the Muratorian fragment exhibits the feeling entertained towards the end of the cent. that the list of prophetic writings had been closed and that no production of the later years of the church could be admitted.

But if, as we think, the Hermas of The Shepherd is not a fictitious character, but a real person known in the church of Rome in the 2nd cent., we incline to follow Zahn in relying more on his connexion with Clement than with Pius. Zahn places The Shepherd c. 97; but if we assign that date to the epistle of Clement we ought to allow a few years for that letter to have obtained the celebrity and success which the notice in Hermas implies. That notice need not necessarily have been published in the lifetime of Clement, for Hermas is not instructed to deliver his message immediately, but only after the completion of his revelations, and this may have been after Clement's death.

Are, then, any indications of date in the book inconsistent with such an early date?

There is much affinity between the leading ideas of Montanism and of the book of Hermas, especially as to the fall of many in the church from the ideal of holiness. The question was asked, Was it possible to renew such again to repentance? In both our Lord's second coming was eagerly looked forward to, and a knowledge of God's coming dealings with His church sought for from visions and revelations. But the teaching of Hermas is less rigorous than the Montanistic, and all that is special to Montanism is unknown to him.

Hermas directs his efforts almost exclusively to combating the relaxation of morality in the church; he scarcely notices doctrinal errors, and no reference to Gnostic doctrines can be found in his book, unless it be a statement (Sim. v. 7) that there were some who took licence to misuse the flesh on account of a denial of the resurrection of the body. But these false teachers seem to have been all in the church, not separate from it. In the passage which seems most distinctly to refer to Gnostics ( ib. ix. 22), they are described as "wishing to know everything and knowing nothing," as "praising themselves that they have understanding, and wishing to be teachers, though they were really fools." Yet, he adds, "to these repentance is open, for they were not wicked, but rather silly and without understanding." The seeds of Gnosticism had begun to spring up even in apostolic times; but we cannot think that Hermas would have written thus after Gnosticism had become dangerous to the Roman church.

Hermas rebukes the strifes for precedence among Christians (Vis. iii. 9; Mand. ix.; Sim. viii. 7), and it is difficult to find in his book evidence of the existence of the episcopal form of government or of resistance to its introduction. He appears to use ἐπίσκοπος as synonymous with πρεσβύτερος and always speaks of the government of the church as in the hands of the elders, without hinting that one elder enjoyed authority over others. Clement, indeed, is recognized as the organ by which the church of Rome communicated with foreign churches; but we are not told that implied a pre-eminence in domestic rule. Similarly, though we infer that the presbyters had seats of honour in the church assemblies, we are not told that one had a seat higher than the rest. Either it was not the case or it was too much a matter of course to be mentioned. But a message regarding dissensions is sent τοῖς προηγουμένοις τῆς ἐκκλησίας καὶ τοῖς πρωτοκαθεδρίταις . It is a very forced explanation of the last plural noun to suppose it means some one of the προηγούμενοι who desired to make himself the first, nor have we reason to think that the word implies any sarcasm. It is more natural to understand that besides the presbyters there were others, such as the teachers and prophets ( Mand. xi.), who in church assemblies were given seats of honour.

The church had at the time of this writing enjoyed a good deal of quiet, but this had evidently been broken by many harassing persecutions, in which some had apostatized. Usually their danger is described as no more than of loss of goods and of injury to worldly business; but there had been (though perhaps not recently) martyrs who had given their lives and endured crosses and wild beasts for the Name of the Son of God. They could have saved themselves by denial or by committing idolatry. Thus they suffered as Christians, and it has been inferred that the date must be later than the well-known letter of Trajan to Pliny which first made the profession of Christianity unlawful. Yet it seems possible to assign an earlier date to The Shepherd, and to I. Peter which is affected by the same argument, when we remember that Trajan only gave imperial sanction to the rule on which Pliny had been acting already, and on which others had probably been acting previously; or Pliny implies that trials of Christians were then well known. And it may be argued that after the edict of Trajan obstinate profession of Christianity was liable to be punished with death, whereas in the time of Hermas it seems to have been punished only by fine or imprisonment. Hermas lost his business in the persecution, having been betrayed, it seems, by his children. At the time of the visions he was apparently farming. Zahn, who places the persecution under Domitian, ingeniously conjectures (p. 133) that Hermas was one of those to whom, as Dion Cassius tells (68, 2), Nerva made restitution by giving land instead of the goods of which they had been despoiled by Domitian.

It is disappointing to have to add that an ordinary Christian of to-day would find in the book neither much interest nor edification, and that the historical student finds in it much less help than he might expect. Hermas is absorbed in trying to bring about a practical reform; he shews much less interest in doctrine, in which possibly as a layman he was perhaps not accurately instructed; he never quotes either O. or N. T., nor is his language much influenced by Scripture phraseology, and some would describe him as having preached not the Gospel, but merely a dry morality. The inference was natural, if Pauline Christianity is so much in the background in Hermas, that he must have been an anti-Pauline Jewish Christian; and this may seem confirmed by the fact that the N.T. book which has most stamped itself on his mind is the Ep. of St. James. Yet a closer examination finds no real trace of Judaism in him. It is scarcely credible that one brought up a Jew should seem so unfamiliar with O.T. The Jewish nation and its privileges are not even mentioned, nor the distinction between Jew and Gentile. Michael is not the guardian angel of the nation, but of the Christian church.

The only express quotation is from the lost apocryphal book of Eldad and Modad. His use of either O. or N. T, not being indicated by formal quotation, but only by coincidences of language or thought, there is room for difference of opinion as to his use of particular books. The proofs of the use of the Epp. of James and of Ephesians seem decisive, and only a little less strong in the case of I. Peter and I. Cor. Of his use of the Gospel and Revelation of St. John we are persuaded, though we admit that the evidence is not conclusive. We believe also that the knowledge of sayings of our Lord which Hermas unmistakably exhibits was obtained from our Synoptic Gospels, the coincidences with St. Mark (see Zahn, p. 457) being most striking.

Where Hermas had lived before he was sold to Rome we can only conjecture. According to a reading which there seems no good ground to question, he supposes himself in one of his visions to have been transported to Arcadia, and Mahaffy says (Rambles in Greece, p. 330, 2nd ed.) that the scenery he describes suits that in Arcadia, and does not suit the neighbourhood of Rome. Zahn conjectures that Hermas was born in Egypt because the architecture of the tower of Hermas's visions resembles the description in Josephus of the Jewish temple in the Egyptian Heliopolis.

The Shepherd has been edited by Hilgenfeld ( Nov. Test. ext. Can. Rec. 1866) and Gebhardt and Harnack ( Patres Apostolici, 1877). The latter ed. is indispensable, and contains a full list of editions, and of works treating of Hermas. Some interesting discussion is to be found in the reviews of Gebhardt's ed. by Overbeck (Schurer, Theol. Literaturzeitung, 1878), Donaldson in Theological Review (1878), and Zahn, Göttingen gelehrte Anzeigen (1878). Zahn, Der Hirt des Hermas (1868), is the work from which we have learned most. Another ed. is by Funk ( Pat. Apost. Tübingen, 1878). A Collation of the Athos Codex of the Shepherd with intro. by Dr. Lambros, trans. and ed. with preface and appendices by Dr. J. A. Robinson, has been pub. by Camb. Univ. Press; a cheap Eng. trans. of The Shepherd by Dr. C. Taylor (2 vols.) by S. P.C. K.; and in Ante-Nic. Fathers, vol. ii. See also F. Spitta, Zur Gesch. und Lit. der Urchristenthums, vol. ii. (Göttingen, 1898), and Funk, in Theol. Quartalschr. lxxii. and lxxxv.

[G.S.]

1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Hermas, Shepherd of
Name of a treatise highly esteemed in early times and once ranking next to the Holy Scriptures. It is an ethical rather than a theological work, preaching repentance, and consisting of five visions, twelve mandates, and two parables; particularly valuable as a contemporary record of 2century Christianity in Rome. The authorship has been attributed to Hermas, mentioned by Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans 14; but with more likelihood, to a brother of Pope Saint Pius I.

American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Hermas
A Christian at Rome, Romans 16:14 ; supposed by some to have been the writer of the ancient work called "The Shepherd of Hermas"a singular mixture of truth and piety with folly and superstition.

1910 New Catholic Dictionary - Shepherd of Hermas
Name of a treatise highly esteemed in early times and once ranking next to the Holy Scriptures. It is an ethical rather than a theological work, preaching repentance, and consisting of five visions, twelve mandates, and two parables; particularly valuable as a contemporary record of 2century Christianity in Rome. The authorship has been attributed to Hermas, mentioned by Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans 14; but with more likelihood, to a brother of Pope Saint Pius I.

Sentence search

Hermas (Greek God) - (Ἑρμῆς, Romans 16:14)... Hermas was a very common Greek name, being the name of the popular Greek god. Paul (See Hermas)
Hermas - A Christian at Rome, Romans 16:14 ; supposed by some to have been the writer of the ancient work called "The Shepherd of Hermas"a singular mixture of truth and piety with folly and superstition
Hermas - Hermas . Origen identifies this Hermas with the celebrated author of The Shepherd , a book considered by many in the 2nd cent
Hermas - Some have tried to identify him with the author of “The Shepherd of Hermas,” but that is not likely
Hermas, Known as the Shepherd - Hermas (2). there was in circulation a book of visions and allegories purporting to be written by one Hermas and commonly known as The Shepherd. The mutilated commencement of the Stromateis of Clement of Alexandria opens in the middle of a quotation from The Shepherd and about ten times elsewhere he cites the book always with a complete acceptance of the reality and divine character of the revelations made to Hermas but without suggesting who Hermas was or when he lived. He suggests as do others after him but apparently on no earlier authority that it was written by the Hermas mentioned in Rom_16:14. Yet, while refusing to assign the book to apostolic times, it makes no doubt of the reality of the angelic appearance to Hermas. Later biographical notices of popes state that the message given to Hermas was that Easter should always be celebrated on a Sunday. These clearly shew that by then all knowledge of the book had been lost; and further notices shew a confusion between the name of Hermas and that of his book, which imply that the book was no longer in use. 604), for it seems certain that the book of Hermas is here referred to. Hermas tells that he who had brought him up had sold him to Rome to a lady named Rhoda; that after a considerable time he renewed his acquaintance with her and began to love her as a sister; that he saw her one day bathing in the Tiber and assisted her out of the water ; that admiring her beauty he thought how happy he should be if he had a wife like her in person and disposition. Then Hermas was overwhelmed with horror and fear, not knowing how he could abide the severity of God's judgment, if such a thought as his was marked as sin. She parted from him with the words, "Play the man, Hermas. " Hermas was an elderly man with a grown-up family, and Rhoda must have been at least as old as himself. If the tale is an invented one, this is certainly an incongruity; but if it be a true story, it is quite conceivable that the thought may have occurred to Hermas, who seems to have been not happy in his family relations, how much happier it would have been for him if Rhoda had been his wife; and that afterwards, in a dream, this thought may have recurred to his memory as a sin to be repented of. books of whose use by Hermas there are clear traces. After his first two visions Hermas watched eagerly for new revelations, and set himself to obtain them by fasting and prayer. parables, though the frigid compositions of Hermas fall infinitely below these. We could not even assume that his name was Hermas for the narrator of the visions, who bears this name, might be an imaginary personage But we ourselves feel bound to reject this as altogether mistaken criticism, and as an application to the 2nd cent. To us it seems plain that, whatever the author intended, the first readers of Hermas did not receive the book as mere allegorical fiction. would be entitled to hold such a persuasion, and if the book of Hermas was accepted as inspired, the writer cannot be acquitted of the responsibility of having foreseen and intended this result. 163, 166, holds that the writer must either have been "mente captus et fanaticus," or else "scientem volentemque fefellisse," the latter being the opinion to which he inclines, believing that the lawfulness of pious frauds was a fixed opinion with many Christians at the date of the composition we are discussing We maintain, however, that it is possible to disbelieve in the inspiration of Hermas without imputing folly either to him who made the claim or to those who admitted it We must not regard the men of the 2nd cent. What Hermas tells of his personal history and of the times and circumstances of his visions conveys to us the impression of artless truth. He would probably also have made him a man of some eminence, holding high church office, whereas Hermas always speaks of the presbyters as if he were not one of them, and could have no motive for making his hero one engaged in trade unsuccessfully and not very honestly, and an elderly man with a termagant wife and ill brought-up children. On the other hand, if the book be true history, it is very much to the point that Hermas should get a revelation, directing his wife to keep her tongue in better order, and his children to pay more respect to their parents; nor need we suppose Hermas guilty of dishonesty in thus turning his gift of prophecy to the advantage of his family comfort; for nothing can be more natural than that the thoughts which troubled his waking moments should present themselves in his visions. —Antiquity furnishes authority for three suppositions: (a) the author was the Hermas to whom a salutation is sent in Rom_16:14; or (b) brother to Pius bp. The author shews no wish to be taken for the apostolic Hermas but distinctly speaks of the apostles as all dead. A forger could have found many more suitable names than Hermas one of the least prominent in N. Hermas seems to have thought that if the worldliness of the church could be repented of and reformed it would be possible to keep it pure during the brief remainder of its existence. If the first readers of the work of Elchesai or of the Clementine homilies asked Why did we never hear of these things before? these books had provided an answer in the fiction that the alleged authors had only communicated them under a pledge of strict secrecy; in this book on the contrary Hermas is directed (Vis. ... But if, as we think, the Hermas of The Shepherd is not a fictitious character, but a real person known in the church of Rome in the 2nd cent. 97; but if we assign that date to the epistle of Clement we ought to allow a few years for that letter to have obtained the celebrity and success which the notice in Hermas implies. That notice need not necessarily have been published in the lifetime of Clement, for Hermas is not instructed to deliver his message immediately, but only after the completion of his revelations, and this may have been after Clement's death. ... Are, then, any indications of date in the book inconsistent with such an early date?... There is much affinity between the leading ideas of Montanism and of the book of Hermas, especially as to the fall of many in the church from the ideal of holiness. But the teaching of Hermas is less rigorous than the Montanistic, and all that is special to Montanism is unknown to him. ... Hermas directs his efforts almost exclusively to combating the relaxation of morality in the church; he scarcely notices doctrinal errors, and no reference to Gnostic doctrines can be found in his book, unless it be a statement (Sim. " The seeds of Gnosticism had begun to spring up even in apostolic times; but we cannot think that Hermas would have written thus after Gnosticism had become dangerous to the Roman church. ... Hermas rebukes the strifes for precedence among Christians (Vis. And it may be argued that after the edict of Trajan obstinate profession of Christianity was liable to be punished with death, whereas in the time of Hermas it seems to have been punished only by fine or imprisonment. Hermas lost his business in the persecution, having been betrayed, it seems, by his children. 133) that Hermas was one of those to whom, as Dion Cassius tells (68, 2), Nerva made restitution by giving land instead of the goods of which they had been despoiled by Domitian. Hermas is absorbed in trying to bring about a practical reform; he shews much less interest in doctrine, in which possibly as a layman he was perhaps not accurately instructed; he never quotes either O. The inference was natural, if Pauline Christianity is so much in the background in Hermas, that he must have been an anti-Pauline Jewish Christian; and this may seem confirmed by the fact that the N. We believe also that the knowledge of sayings of our Lord which Hermas unmistakably exhibits was obtained from our Synoptic Gospels, the coincidences with St. ... Where Hermas had lived before he was sold to Rome we can only conjecture. Zahn conjectures that Hermas was born in Egypt because the architecture of the tower of Hermas's visions resembles the description in Josephus of the Jewish temple in the Egyptian Heliopolis. is indispensable, and contains a full list of editions, and of works treating of Hermas. Zahn, Der Hirt des Hermas (1868), is the work from which we have learned most
Hermas, Shepherd of - The authorship has been attributed to Hermas, mentioned by Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans 14; but with more likelihood, to a brother of Pope Saint Pius I
Shepherd of Hermas - The authorship has been attributed to Hermas, mentioned by Saint Paul in his letter to the Romans 14; but with more likelihood, to a brother of Pope Saint Pius I
Hermas Shepherd of - Sir,’ says Hermas, ‘from certain teachers, that there is no other repentance, save that which took place when we went down into the water and obtained remission of our former sins. Hermas depicts himself as slow of understanding, but insatiable in curiosity (Mand. ... The scene is laid partly in the house of Hermas in Rome, partly in the country where he abides (Vis. Mention is made of the road to Cumae, the Campanian Way, and the river Tiber, in which Hermas sees Rhoda bathing (Vis. ... To the question who Hermas was there are three possible answers. ... ‘But the “Shepherd” was written quite lately in our times by Hermas, while his brother Pius, the bishop, was sitting in the chair of the Church of the city of Rome; and therefore it ought indeed to be read, but it cannot to the end of lime be publicly read in the Church to the people, either among the prophets, who are complete in number, or among the Apostles. -In the first Vision Hermas tells now, while journeying to Cumae, he saw in the opened heavens Rhoda, his former owner, whom he had recently met again, and whom he had begun to esteem as a sister. She tells Hermas that what God is really wroth about is his lack of strictness with his family whereby his children have become corrupt. She then reads from a book the glories of God, but Hermas can only remember the last words, for the rest is too terrible to bear. As she goes, she smiles and says, ‘Play the man, Hermas. After fifteen days the meaning is revealed to Hermas, who is directed to rebuke his children for their wickedness, and his wife for her faults of the tongue, as well as to exhort the rulers of the Church. Then it is revealed that the aged woman is not, as Hermas supposes, the Sibyl, but the Church, created before all things. Hermas is to read it to the city along with the elders that preside over the Church. Hermas is next commissioned to rebuke the self-indulgence of the well-to-do and the ignorance and divisions of the rulers of the Church. Hermas sees a huge cloud of dust, which resolves itself into the form of a beast like a sea-monster, emitting fiery locusts from its mouth. This is a type of the impending tribulation, but it does not harm Hermas, for the angel Segri has shut its mouth. He has been sent by the most holy angel to dwell with Hermas for the rest of his life. Hermas at first fails to recognize him as the being to whom he was delivered, but on recognition proceeds to write down the Commandments and the Parables dictated by the Shepherd. The ninth Commandment extols faith in prayer, and condemns doubtful-mindedness, while the tenth exhorts Hermas to be clothed in cheerfulness and to put away sadness. A few days later Hermas is afflicted by this angel of punishment, and in the seventh Parable he is taught that this is because of the sins of his household. First Hermas sees a great willow tree (the Law of God, which is the Son of God preached unto the ends of the earth) under which stands a multitude of believers. Hermas, seated on a mountain in Arcadia, sees a great plain surrounded by twelve mountains, each of which has a different appearance. The purport of the concluding Parable is an exhortation to Hermas to keep the Shepherd’s commandments and to publish them to others. We read of the rulers (προηγούμενοι) of the Church, whom Hermas is directed to exhort (Vis. Hermas, who is told to read his book to the city along with the elders who preside over the Church (μετὰ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων τῶν προϊσταμένων τῆς ἐκκλησίας), may well have been one of the order of prophets. -The doctrinal references reveal, at least in the case of Hermas, a creed which is simple and yet has its own peculiarities. ... Hermas also teaches that the first apostles and teachers who had died, went like Christ, and preached unto the Spirits in prison (ix. When the Shepherd at first appears, Hermas fails to recognize him, as apparently he should have done. Fasting is often mentioned, and once we find Hermas keeping a ‘station,’ as the early fast-days were called (Sim. ... While Hermas shows fewer traces of the influence of St. ... Hermas, who was evidently acquainted with the contents of the Didache, does not directly cite Scripture by name, but he continually uses Scriptural words and ideas, handling them with a light touch, and working them into new combinations. Taylor (The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels) has investigated these allusions minutely, and considers Hermas to be a valuable witness to the Canon, especially in the case of the four Gospels. Taylor, The Shepherd of Hermas (Translation, Introduction, and Notes), London, 1903-1906; T. Zahn, Der Hirt des Hermas, Gotha, 1868; A. Taylor, The Witness of Hermas to the Four Gospels, London, 1892; [Bp. Fell], Barnabas and Hermas, Oxford, 1685; G
Hermas - Some have judged him to be one of the Apostolic Fathers, and the writer of a treatise called "THE SHEPHERD OF Hermas,"which was highly esteemed in the early church
Hermas - Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen attribute to him "The Shepherd," supposed by some to have been written in the episcopacy of Clement I; others deny Hermas of Romans 16 to be the author
Hermas - (Ἑρμᾶς, Romans 16:14)... Hermas is a Greek name, a contracted form of several names such as Hermagoras, Hermeros, Hermodorus, Hermogenes, etc
Pius i., Bishop of Rome - 170) and the Liberian Catalogue, was brother to Hermas, the writer of the Shepherd . 2) accepts it, and adduces internal evidence in the work of Hermas itself. The advocates of this view adduce passages from the Shepherd of Hermas, in which messages are sent in rebuke of strifes for precedence among the Christians at Rome ( Vis. [Hermas
Apostolic Fathers - Hermas; are supposed to be the persons so named in the N
Apostolic Fathers - Five Apostolic Fathers appear in the original seventeenth century list: Barnabas, Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Hermas. ... Identified by the Muratorian Canon as the brother of Pius, Bishop of Rome around 140-150, Hermas indicates that he had been brought to Rome after being taken captive and was purchased by a woman named Rhoda. Using the form of an apocalypse or revelation, the Shepherd of Hermas deals with the heatedly debated question of repentance for serious post-baptismal sins such as apostasy, adultery, or murder. Hermas proposed one repentance following baptism, a view widely accepted in the early churches
Fathers, the - Ignatius, Hermas and St
Vision - more than that of ‘The Shepherd of Hermas,’ in which, somewhat after the style of Dante’s Divina Commedia, teachings are presented for the instruction of the Church. -Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible (5 vols) , articles ‘Vision’ and ‘Prophecy’; Shepherd of Hermas (Lightfoot [Apostolic Fathers, London, 1891] and other editions); F
Confidence - ), the confidence of which Hermas says (Sim
Silas - ... Probably Silas is an abbreviation, like Lucas (Luke), Hermas, Amplias, Epaphras, Nymphas
Widow - Tertullian ("De velandis Virginibus," 9), Hermas (Shepherd 1:2), and Chrysostom (Horn
Prophecy Prophet Prophetess - 95, who further refers to the Shepherd of Hermas, a Roman presbyter who was also a ‘prophet’). Hermas considers himself to be a prophet commissioned by God to comfort and persuade his hearers and to sound the call to repentance (Mand. Harnack’s suggestion that the silence of Hermas as to prophecies is due to the fact that he reckoned himself a prophet is not convincing (op. If the Didache represents the situation immediately after the Apostolic Age, the Shepherd of Hermas may be reasonably regarded as fixing the time when the authority of Christian prophecy was beginning to decline
Sinaiticus Codex - Of these 199 belong to the Old Testament and 147 1/2 to the New, along with two ancient documents called the Epistle of Barnabas and the Shepherd of Hermas
Mark, Gospel According to - Taylor conjectures that he borrowed the idea from Hermas (Witness of Hermas, § 1). by Hermas is very probable. Indirectly the Shepherd of Hermas supplies a great argument for the antiquity of the Gospels, because it shows the uniqueness of our Lord’s parables as there narrated. Hermas essays the same method of teaching, but his attempt is utterly feeble. They would in the course of time, before the narratives reached us in their present form, have assimilated features such as we find in Hermas. Hermas, p
Canon of the Holy Scriptures - 170 AD) mentions all the New Testament books, except Hebrews, James, and probably 1,2Peter, but also includes vith reservations, the apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter and the Shepherd of Hermas
Tongue - 7, Hermas, Vis
Business - This inevitably led to a low commercial morality, such as that to which Hermas confesses (Mand
Feet - Revelation 3:9; Hermas, Vis
Tongue - 7, Hermas, Vis
Canon of the New Testament - Lastly, the Canon admits Hermas for private reading, but not for use in the church services. On the other hand, Wisdom, without question, and the Apocalypse of Peter, though rejected by some, are included in this canon, and Hermas is added for private reading. In this tract the Shepherd of Hermas and the Didache are both quoted as ‘Scripture. ’ The author refers to three divisions of Scripture: (1) Prophetic writings the OT Prophets, the Apocalypse, Hermas; (2) the Gospels; (3) the Apostolic Writings Paul, 1 John, Hebrews. Thus he quotes Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, the Preaching of Peter, the Apocalypse of Peter, and the Sibylline Writings as in some way authoritative. He mentions 2 Peter 2:1-22 and 3 John as of disputed genuineness, and refers to the Gospel of the Hebrews in an apologetic tone, the Gospels of Peter and James, and the Acts of Paul, and quotes Hermas and Barnabas as ‘Scripture,’ while he admits that, though widely circulated, Hermas was not accepted by all. The third class, consisting of spurious works, contains the Acts of Paul; the Shepherd of Hermas; the Apocalypse of Peter; the Didache; and perhaps, according to some, the Revelation
Apostolic Fathers - In its widest range it will include Barnabas Hermas Clemens Ignatius Polycarp Papias and the writer of the epistle to Diognetus. Thus the "Shepherd" of Hermas has been placed in this category because it was supposed to have been written by the person of this name mentioned by St. On the other hand, in the Shepherd of Hermas, and possibly in the Expositions of Papias (for in this instance the inferences drawn from a few scanty fragments must be precarious), the sympathy with the Old Dispensation is unduly strong, and the distinctive features of the Gospel are darkened by the shadow of the Law thus projected upon them
Soothsaying - In Hermas (Mand
Meekness - Hermas (Mand
Mouth Lips - Hermas speaks of those ‘that have the Lord on their lips, while their heart is hardened’ (Mand
Grave Gravity - In Hermas, Mand. In Hermas, Vis
Patience - ; Hermas, Mand. A noteworthy passage dealing with this virtue is Hermas, Mand
Patience - ; Hermas, Mand. A noteworthy passage dealing with this virtue is Hermas, Mand
Unrighteousness - Interesting parallels are furnished in the Shepherd of Hermas (Mand, vi
Pride - , in Hermas, Mand
Teaching of the Twelve Apostles - If the editor of Bryennius's form knew Hermas, he might also have known Barnabas, with whom he has a second coincidence in a passage about almsgiving, which, as implying a knowledge of Acts and Romans, Barnabas was not likely to have found in his original. ... Hermas also presents coincidences with the Didaché , but it is not easy to say that there is literary obligation on either side, except in one case, viz. a coincidence between the second "commandment" of Hermas and the "Sermon on the Mount" section, which we have already seen reason to think belongs to a later form of the Didaché . In this case the original seems clearly that of Hermas. The corresponding passage in the Didaché has many coincidences of language, but expresses the thought so awkwardly as to be scarce intelligible without the commentary of Hermas. By comparison with Hermas we see that the case contemplated is that of giving to an undeserving person. We conclude, then, without disputing the greater antiquity of the original Didaché , that the interpolator who brought the work to the form published by Bryennius was later than Hermas, and drew from him
Shepherd - ), also to the angel in Hermas, Mand
Abstinence - 2; Hermas, Vis. Even when fasting was enjoined, the danger of externalism was recognized (Hermas, Sim. prayer and fasting (contrast Hermas, Sim. also Hermas, Sim. Hermas, Sim
Widows - In Hermas we find repeatedly such sentiments as the following: ‘Instead of fields then buy ye oppressed souls as each one can, and widows and orphans mercifully visit (ἐπισκέπτεσθε) and do not overlook them’ (Sim. Aristides in his Apology can say of Christians as a whole: ‘From the widows they do not turn away their countenance; they rescue the orphan from him who does him violence’ (see Hermas, Vis. This view was based on the depreciation of marriage itself as early as the Pastor of Hermas (Mand
Scripture - Clement of Rome, Barnahas (with the one exception referred to), Hermas, and even Justin Martyr use the title for the OT only
Fathers - ... The following is a list of the entire fathers: Contemporaries of the Apostles, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, Papias, A
Christ in the Early Church - ... (e) A mystical work which enjoyed considerable popularity in the early Church, the Shepherd, attributed in the Muratorian Canon to that Hermas who was brother of Pope Pius i. At the same time the language of Hermas about the Incarnation is vague, almost as if the Son of God and the Holy Spirit were identical (Simil. Hermas evidently was not a. Justin practically anticipates the Nicene formula ὁμοούσιος τῷ Πατρί (128), though, as in the case of Hermas, some of his statements are vague, and, if pressed verbally, might appear inconsistent with later definitions. To Hermas, divorce and remarriage after divorce are as absolutely forbidden as unchastity (Command
Baptism - 14) emphasizes the element used, by calling baptism the ‘water of life’: so in Hermas (Vis. Hermas, Sim
James Epistle of - As regards the indirect evidence of quotations, the earliest work for which a dependence on James can be established with any high degree of probability is the Shepherd of Hermas, which is variously dated between a. (For Hermas’ use of James see the article by C. on the priority of the Didache to Hermas
Foreknowledge - Hermas attributes to the Lord the power of reading the heart, and with foreknowledge knowing all things, even the weakness of men and the wiles of the devil (Mand
James - Clement of Rome and Hermas allude to this epistle; and it is quoted by Origen, Eusebius, Athanasius, Jerom, Chrysostom, Augustine, and many other fathers
Clemens Romanus of Rome - ... (2) An independent proof that Clement held high position in the church of Rome is afforded by the Shepherd of Hermas, a work not later than the episcopate of Pius (a. He represents himself as commissioned to write for Clement the book of his Visions in order that Clement might send it to foreign cities, that being his function; while Hermas himself was to read the Vision at Rome with the elders who presided over the church. We may not unreasonably infer from the passage just cited from Hermas that the letter was even then celebrated. The doctrine of the pre-existence of the church is, as Harnack noted, one of several points of contact between this work and the Shepherd of Hermas, making it probable that both emanate from the same age and the same circle
Confession - ... Both Clement and Hermas witness to the custom of public confession. Hermas, the prophet, tells us bluntly in the Shepherd of the confessions of untruthfulness and dishonesty which he was constrained to make publicly (Mand
Book of Life - 8: ‘Those who remained faithful, inherited glory and honour, were exalted and were inscribed by God in His memorial for ever’; Hermas, Vis
Only- Begotten - Hermas, Sim
Baptism - 14) emphasizes the element used, by calling baptism the ‘water of life’: so in Hermas (Vis. Hermas, Sim
Self-Denial - ; Hermas, Sim
Matthew - ... In the few writings which remain of the apostolical fathers, Barnabas, Clement of Rome, Hermas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, there are manifest allusions to several passages in St
New Testament - 3) relates that Hermas had formerly been read in public on account of its usefulness for ‘elementary instruction
Peter, the Epistles of - Hermas (Simil. )... Though not of "the universally confessed" (homologoumea ) Scriptures, but of "the disputed" (antilegomena ), 2 Peter is altogether distinct from "the spurious" (notha ); of these there was no dispute, they were universally rejected as the Shepherd of Hermas, the Revelation of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas
Fornication - Hermas, Vis
Union With God - , outside the canon of Scripture, including the epistles of Clement and Barnabas and perhaps the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, fragments of Papias, and the Shepherd of Hermas, so popular in the Church during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, contains nothing new or distinctive bearing on the subject of union with God as compared with the apostolic writings. ... Hermas says of God, ‘who created and finished all things and made all things out of nothing,’ ‘He alone is able to contain the whole, but himself cannot be contained’ (Mand
Descent Into Hades - A curious passage in the Shepherd of Hermas (Sim. Thus Hermas does not speak of a Descent of Christ into Hades, but he finds a mission there for the apostles and teachers of the Christian dispensation, viz
James, the General Epistle of - The Shepherd of Hermas soon after quotes James 4:7
Teaching - ... The teaching was oral, as a rule, but it might be conveyed by means of didactic epistles, such as those contained in the NT or those of Clement of Rome and Ignatius, or works like the Didache and the Shepherd of Hermas. The amplification and modification of this primitive norm of belief and practice can be traced in the Didache, the Epistles of Clement and Ignatius, and the Shepherd of Hermas in the immediately succeeding years
Intercession - ’... (b) The joy of intercession finds striking expression in Hermas (Mand
Name - ); Hermogenes (like Hermagoras and Hermodorus) into Hermas (Romans 16:14, 2 Timothy 1:15, and the author of the Pastor); Lucanus into Lucas (Philemon 1:24, etc
Intercession - ’... (b) The joy of intercession finds striking expression in Hermas (Mand
Canon of the New Testament - A third class he calls "the spurious," as "the Shepherd of Hermas," "the Epistle of Barnabas," "the Acts of Paul," which all rejected
the Unprofitable Servant - One day, so Hermas tells us in his ancient history, when this servant was commanded by his master to run a paling round a vineyard, he not only ran the paling round the vineyard, but he dug a ditch also round the same vineyard, and then he gathered the stones and the thorns out of it; and such things he did always, till, when Bartholomew became a disciple, he left one whole farm, with its full plenishing on it, as a bequest to this ploughman as if he had been his own son and his true heir
Seventy (2) - ) as follows:—James (brother of the Lord), Timothy, Titus, Barnabas, Ananias, Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Simon, Nicolas, Parmenas, Cleopas, Silas, Silvanus, Crescens, Epenetus, Andronicus, Amplias, Urbanus, Stachys, Apelles, Aristobulus, Narcissus, Herodion, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Hermas, Patrobas, Rhodion, Jason, Agabus, Linus, Gaius, Philologus, Olympas, Sosipater, Lucius, Tertius, Erastus, Phygellus, Hermogenes, Dermas, Quartus, Apollos, Cephas, Sosthenes, Epaphroditus, Caesar, Marcus, Joseph Barsabbas, Artemas, Clemens, Onesiphorus, Tychicus, Carpus, Euodius, Philemon, Zenas, Aquila, Priscas, Junias, Marcus (2), Aristarchus, Pudens, Trophimus, Lucas the Eunuch, Lazarus
Bible, Canon of the - 350) contained the books Hermas and Barnabas, and Codex Alexandrinus (ca
Manichees - He left several disciples; and among others, Addas, Thomas, and Hermas
New Testament - Only in 1859 did he obtain the whole - the Septuagint, the whole New Testament, the whole Epistle ascribed to Barnabas, and a large part of the Shepherd of Hermas (on vellum). In 1863 the popular edition was published, containing the New Testament, Barnabas, and Hermas; Scrivener has published a cheap collation of it
Clement of Rome, Epistle of - At any rate, this function is attributed to him by the writer of ‘Hermas’ (πέμψει οὖν Κλήμης εἰς τὰς ἔξω πόλεις, ἐκείνῳ γὰρ ἐπιτέτραπται, Vis. 3), and ‘Hermas’ may have been written as early as a
Repentance - Hermas is aware that this sorrow may be a blessing; but he is more concerned to point out that, in general, sorrow may distress the Spirit which dwells in the Christian (Mand
Bible, Texts And Versions - The earliest of these to contain the New Testament also contain the Old Testament (in the form of the Septuagint with the outside books) and other Christian writings such as 1,2Clement or The Shepherd of Hermas and the Letter of Barnabas
Divination - Hermas (Mand
Euchites - With Adelphius there were condemned two persons named Sabas, one of them a monk and a eunuch, Eustathius of Edessa, Dadoes, Hermas, Symeon, and others
Principality Principalities - From Hermas (Vis
Virgin Virginity - The earliest Christian writer who seems to mention this form of living together is Hermas, and although he writes in visions and similitudes it is quite possible that he knew the custom and approved of it
New Testament - The New Testament is entire, and the Epistle of Bamabas and parts of the Shepherd of Hermas are added
Ecclesiastes, Theology of - The only mention of the book in the first centuries of the church is in the Shepherd of Hermas, and that book alluded to only the last two verses
Soul - See also the Shepherd of Hermas, Simil
Pseudo-Chrysostomus - ... Besides the Scriptures he uses the Shepherd of Hermas (33 142) but acknowledges that it was not universally received; the Clementine Recognitions (20 94; 50 212; 51 214) the Apostolic Constitutions or Canons as he calls them (13 74; 53 221)
Soul - See also the Shepherd of Hermas, Simil
Elect, Election - A somewhat fantastic representation of the method by which the Divine election of Jesus was consummated occurs in Hermas, where the servant elected by his lord (ἑκλεξάμενος δοῦλόν τινα τιστόν, κ
Alpha And Omega (2) - 1:12–14: 2 Esdras 6:55-59; 2 Esdras 7:10-11; 2 Esdras 9:13; Hermas, Vis
Ephesians Epistle to the - It seems to be quoted by Hermas (cf
Galatians, Epistle to the - Our Epistle is probably alluded to or cited by Barnabas, Hermas, and Ignatius (5 times); certainly by Polycarp (4 times), the Epistle to Diognetus , Justin Martyr, Melito, Athenagoras, and the Acts of Paul and Thecla
Election - ‘It is through faith,’ says Hermas (Vis
Ebionism And Ebionites - The tone of the Shepherd of Hermas —a work which emanated from the Roman church during the first half of the 2nd cent
Synagogue - 18; Harnack, ad Hermas Mand
Sacraments - The sacramental references in the Didache, Hermas, Barnabas, Ignatius, Clement of Rome, all assume that their readers are familiar with the doctrine of Baptism and the Eucharist
Canon - Paul's history and writings, never mention any such epistle: neither Clement, Hermas, nor the Syriac interpreter, knew any thing of such an epistle of St
Mark, Gospel According to - ’) and Hermas, all early in the 2nd cent
Marriage - Hermas, on the other hand, in his Shepherd (Mand
Hell - In the 8th Similitude of the Shepherd of Hermas-that of the tower-builders-there are many references to judgment, but they are couched in such general terms as ‘shall lose his life,’ ‘these lost their life finally,’ or ‘these perished altogether unto God
Hell - In the 8th Similitude of the Shepherd of Hermas-that of the tower-builders-there are many references to judgment, but they are couched in such general terms as ‘shall lose his life,’ ‘these lost their life finally,’ or ‘these perished altogether unto God
Novatianus And Novatianism - The origin of the Novatianist schism must be sought in the struggle which, originating with the Shepherd of Hermas (Baur, Church Hist
Heaven - ... The Shepherd of Hermas lies outside our period, and is more curious than valuable for information as to the teaching of the Church of the Apostolic Age
Calendar, the Christian - or even at noon; or more frequently ‘station days’ as in Hermas (l
Barnabas, Epistle of - In this Codex our Epistle follows Revelation, and is followed by the Shepherd of Hermas
Apocalyptic Literature - These are mostly pseudonymous, but include an occasional work in which the author does not conceal his name behind that of an apostle or older prophet (The Shepherd of Hermas)
Acts of the Apostles (Apocryphal) - 25 ranks the Acts of Paul, with the Shepherd of Hermas, Ep
Bible - Paul to the Laodiceans, several spurious Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, and Revelations; the book of Hermas, entitled the Shepherd; Jesus Christ's letter to Abgarus; the epistles of St
Gospels, Apocryphal - 25) mentions the Gospel as belonging to that class which, like the Shepherd of Hermas and the Didache , were accepted in some portions of the Empire and rejected in others
Church - -Hermas and Justin Martyr; and even so late as the last quarter of the cent
Montanus - The controversy also made Christians more scrupulous about paying to other books honours like those given to the books of Scripture, and we believe that it was for this reason that the Shepherd of Hermas ceased to have a place in church reading
Text of the New Testament - Catherine at Sinai in 1844, and acquired by him for the University Library at Leipzig; while the remainder (156 leaves of the OT, and the entire NT, with the Epistle of Barnabas and part of the ‘Shepherd’ of Hermas, on 148 leaves) were found by him in the same place in 1859, and eventually secured for the Imperial Library at St
John, Gospel of (Critical) - He strongly protests, for example, against the inclusion of Hermas in the Canon, though he has no objection to its being ‘read