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Monday, 26 October 2015

Supernatural Evil in the Apostolic Fathers (7): Papias of Hierapolis

Papias of Hierapolis wrote a five-volume work about the sayings of Jesus around 110-130 A.D.1 Papias' work is lost, but fragments of it survive in quotations by later writers. Papias was 'above all a collector of traditions.'2 Hill refers to Papias' work as the Expositions of the Dominical Logia, and describes its contents as having to do with 'interpretations and oral traditions relating to things Jesus had said in certain written Gospels'.3 However, there is an ongoing scholarly debate as to whether Papias' work was primarily an account of Jesus' sayings or an interpretation thereof. Bauckham, who favours the former view, notes that the operative word in the Greek title of the work (Exēgēsis) can mean either 'account, report' or 'interpretation'.4

Any attempt to reconstruct Papias' theological views will necessarily be tentative for several reasons. First, the vast majority of Papias' work is lost. Second, those fragments which survive must be interpreted in the absence of important contextual information. Third, in some cases it is unclear where the quotation from Papias breaks off. Fourth, the authenticity of some of the fragments is disputed.

There are two fragments which contain information relevant to the subject of supernatural evil. Somewhat confusingly, there are different numbering systems for the fragments of Papias. Following the nomenclature of Holmes, we are concerned with fragments 11 and 24. Both of these fragments are preserved in a commentary on Revelation by Andrew of Caesarea, a bishop whose tenure is of uncertain date but located by most scholars in the late sixth or early seventh century.5

Fragment 11 reads as follows in Holmes' translation:
But Papias says, word for word: ‘Some of them’ – obviously meaning those angels that once were holy – ‘he assigned to rule over the orderly arrangement of the earth, and commissioned them to rule well.’ And next he says: ‘But as it turned out, their administration came to nothing. And the great dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, was cast out; the deceiver of the whole world was cast down to the earth along with his angels.’6
The authenticity of this fragment is undisputed.7 However, what is disputed is which exact words are from Papias and which are from Andrew. It can be seen that the final sentence is a direct quotation of Revelation 12:9. Holmes includes this in the quotation from Papias, as does Bauckham (apparently).8 However, other scholars think the quotation of Revelation 12:9 is Andrew's.9 As Shanks points out, the quotation of Papias occurs within Andrew's comments on Revelation 12:7-8. Hence, a quotation of Revelation 12:9 would be a logical transition to the next portion of the commentary.

Also uncertain is whether the explicit reference to 'angels' is a gloss from Andrew (as Holmes' punctuation implies) or part of the 'word for word' quotation from Papias.10

Whatever the case, most scholars regard the fragment of Papias as having to do with a fall of angels.11 Shanks goes as far as to assert that the fragment comes from "a text in Papias' writings regarding Satan's fall."12 Bauckham argues that four of the extant fragments of Papias (including this one) "seem quite unrelated to Gospel traditions" but "all relate to Genesis 1-3."13 On this basis he proposes that "Papias began his work with an account of the primeval history, giving it a christological interpretation."14 If so, then Papias' lost work would have been an important witness to the Satanological myth which seems to be presupposed throughout the New Testament but is never narrated in full.

It is impossible to be certain as to how Papias related this statement back to Jesus and his sayings, or whether Papias himself related the fall of angels to Satan. What can be said with some confidence, however, is that Papias believed there had been a primeval fall of angels. To conclude otherwise, one would have to argue firstly that the reference to 'holy angels' is a gloss from Andrew rather than part of the fragment, and secondly that Andrew has misunderstood Papias' referent. This would be an unduly skeptical position to take in the absence of evidence, which is probably why no scholar (to this writer's knowledge) has advocated such a position.

The second fragment relevant to this study is fragment 24 (again, under Holmes' nomenclature). Holmes translates as follows:
And Papias spoke in the following manner in his treatises: ‘Heaven did not endure his earthly intentions, because it is impossible for light to communicate with darkness. He fell to earth, here to live; and when humankind came here, where he was, he led them astray into many evils. But Michael and his legions, who are guardians of the world, were helping humankind, as Daniel learned; they gave laws and made the prophets wise. And all this was war against the dragon, who was setting stumbling blocks for men. Then their battle extended into heaven, to Christ himself. Yet Christ came; and the law, which was impossible for anyone else, he fulfilled in his body, according to the apostle. He defeated sin and condemned Satan, and through his death he spread abroad his righteousness over all. As this occurred, the victory of Michael and his legions, the guardians of humankind, became complete, and the dragon could resist no more, because the death of Christ exposed him to ridicule and threw him to the earth. Concerning which Christ said, ‘I saw Satan fallen from heaven like a lightning bolt.’ In this sense the teacher understood not his first fall, but the second, which was through the cross, and this did not consist of a spatial fall, as at first, but rather of judgment and expectation of a mighty punishment…15
This fragment is also from Andrew of Caesarea's commentary on Revelation, but it is absent from the Greek text and is extant only in the Armenian version of the commentary. Because of this, the authenticity of the fragment "has been questioned."16 Those who regard this fragment as authentic include Siegert,17 Kürzinger,18 (apparently) Holmes,19 Shanks,20 and Lourié.21 Schoedel seems cautiously optimistic, noting only a 'possibility' that it does not come from Papias.22 Those who do not accept its authenticity include Körtner23 (whose arguments Dehandschutter accepts),24 (apparently) Ehrman,25 and Norelli26 (whose arguments Bauckham accepts).27 The most comprehensive defense of the fragment's authenticity is unfortunately inaccessible to this writer since it is a Russian-language paper by Lourié.28 Based on English-language works of Lourié which refer to this paper,29 it seems the main arguments are (1) that one phrase from the quotation does appear in the Greek version of Andrew's commentary (where, however, it is not attributed to Papias); (2) that all five Armenian manuscripts of Andrew's work "are identical in the part relevant to our Papias quote",30 and (3) that the contents of the fragment do not fit a seventh-century context.

We will proceed with the caveat that any inferences about Papias' theology taken from this fragment rest on an uncertain attribution to him.

A second issue is that, as with fragment 11, it is disputed where the fragment breaks off. While Holmes, Siegert, Kürzinger and Shanks end the Papias fragment with the quotation of Luke 10:18,31 Lourié breaks it off earlier, after 'made the prophets wise'.32 Schoedel merely notes "some question about the length of the quotation" without offering an opinion.33 If Lourié is correct then the fragment provides far less detail about Satan than if the quotation extends to the citation of Luke 10:18. However, given its context in Andrew's work, the subject of the beginning of the quotation can still be none other than Satan.

Hence, if fragment 24 is authentic then it is clear that Papias' work did refer explicitly to a mythological Satan figure. Although (as noted above) Bauckham rejects the authenticity of this fragment, its contents actually support his hypothesis that Papias' work began with a primeval history.

In conclusion, there is strong evidence that Papias believed in a primeval fall of angels. Conclusions about his view of Satan can only be tentative due to the issues discussed above concerning the length and authenticity of these fragments. However, at least this much can be said: there is some evidence that Papias believed in a mythological Satan figure, and there is no evidence that he did not.


  • 1 Hill, C.E. (2006). Papias of Hierapolis. The Expository Times, 117(8), 309-315. Here 309.
  • 2 ibid.
  • 3 op. cit., p. 310.
  • 4 Bauckham, R. (2014). Did Papias write history or exegesis? Journal of Theological Studies, 65(2), 463-488. Here 463.
  • 5 "Although in the past scholars have placed Andrew's episcopal tenure as early as the fifth century and as late as the ninth century, today most locate him in the second half of the sixth century or early seventh." (Constantinou, E.S. (2013). Guiding to a Blessed End: Andrew of Caesarea and His Apocalypse Commentary in the Ancient Church. Washington, D.C.: Catholic University of America Press, p. 47.
  • 6 Holmes, M.W. (2007). The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, p. 749.
  • 7 Dehandschutter, B. (1988). [Review of the books Papias von Hierapolis und die Evangelien des Neuen Testaments by J. Kürzinger and Papias von Hierapolis by U.H.J. Körtner]. Vigiliae Christianae, 42(4), 401-406. Here 405.
  • 8 He describes the fragment as a "statement about the fallen angels, with allusion to 'the ancient serpent'" (Bauckham, op. cit., p. 474.)
  • 9 Ehrman, B. (2003). (Ed. & trans.). The Apostolic Fathers (Vol. 2). Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 111; Shanks, M.A. (2013). Papias and the New Testament. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, pp. 229-230.
  • 10 Ehrman, op. cit., p. 111, shares Holmes view. Constantinou, however, evidently takes the reference to angels to be Papias', translating thus: "And Papias says in these words: 'To some of them, that is, the divine angels of old, he gave [authority] to rule over the earth and commanded [them] to rule well.' And then says the following: 'And it happened that their arrangement came to nothing.'" (op. cit., p. 246).
  • 11 "Andrew preserved a fragment of Papias regarding the fall of some of the angels" (Constantinou, op. cit., p. 304); Schoedel summarizes the content of the fragment thus: "Wicked angels misrule nature" (Schoedel, W.R. (1993). Papias. In W. Haase (Ed.), Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt II.27.I (pp. 235-270). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, p. 239); Bauckham summarizes it as a "statement about the fallen angels" (op. cit., p. 474).
  • 12 Shanks, op. cit., p. 230. He does not explain his reasoning, but perhaps the inference is that Andrew considered Papias' words relevant to Rev. 12:7-8 because Papias himself had already made the link between the primeval fall of angels and this text from Revelation.
  • 13 Bauckham, op. cit., p. 474.
  • 14 ibid.
  • 15 Holmes, op. cit., p. 763.
  • 16 Hill, op. cit., p. 311.
  • 17 Siegert, F. (1981). Unbeachtete Papiaszitate bei armenischen Schriftstdllern. New Testament Studies, 27(5), 605-614.
  • 18 Kürzinger, J. (1983). Papias von Hierapolis und die Evangelien des Neuen Testaments. Regensburg: Verlag Friedrich Pustet.
  • 19 Holmes, op. cit.. Holmes does not discuss the fragment's authenticity but his inclusion of it implies that he regards it as authentic.
  • 20 Shanks, op. cit., p. 249.
  • 21 Lourié, B. (2012). An Unknown Danielic Pseudepigraphon from an Armenian Fragment of Papias. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, 21(4), 323-339.
  • 22 Schoedel, op. cit., p. 260.
  • 23 Körtner, U.H.J. (1983). Papias von Hierapolis: Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte des frühren Christentums. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
  • 24 Dehandschutter, op. cit., p. 404.
  • 25 Ehrman, op. cit., p. 89, notifies the reader that he is not including the Armenian or Arabic fragments in his text. He refers the reader to Kürzinger without commenting on their authenticity himself.
  • 26 Norelli, E. (2005). Papia di Hierapolis: Esposizione degli oracoli del Signore, i frammenti. Introduzione, testo, traduzione e note. Milan: Paoline, pp. 406-407.
  • 27 Bauckham, R. (2008). [Review of the book Papia di Hierapolis: Esposizione degli oracoli del signore. I frammenti. Introduzione, testo, traduzione e note, by E. Norelli]. Journal of Theological Studies, 59(1), 333-337.
  • 28 See reference in Lourié, op. cit. A translated title of this essay, published in 2008, is: "A Quotation from Papias within the Armenian Version of the Commentary on Apocalypse of St Andrew of Caesarea: Translation and Study in the History of the Exegesis".
  • 29 Lourié, op. cit.
  • 30 Lourié, B. (2013). A Danielic Pseudepigraphon paraphrased by Papias. In R. Bauckham, J.R. Davila & A. Panayotov (Eds.), Old Testament Pseudepigrapha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (Vol. 1) (pp. 435-441). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, p. 436.
  • 31 So Shanks, op. cit., p. 249.
  • 32 Lourié, 2013, op. cit., p. 441.
  • 33 Schoedel, op. cit., p. 260.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Supernatural Evil in the Apostolic Fathers (6): The Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas (henceforth Barnabas) is an early Christian text generally dated to the 130s A.D., around the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt.1 Although traditionally ascribed to 'Barnabas', the document itself does not claim to have been written by Barnabas and never mentions Barnabas. There is near-universal agreement that the author was not Paul's companion of that name mentioned in the New Testament. The author and work will be referred to as Barnabas for sake of convenience.

This document is perhaps best known for its idiosyncratic answer to the question of why Christians are not bound to literal observance of the statutes of the Torah. In contrast to Paul, who had argued that literal Torah observance played a preparatory role in anticipation of Christ, Barnabas (who does not seem to be familiar with Paul's writings) holds that the Torah is eternally valid but was never meant to be followed literally.2 Moreover, he claims that God abrogated the Sinai covenant due to the golden calf incident and appears to hold out no enduring privileges for the Jewish people.3 These positions are unique among patristic writings.4 However, that Barnabas was regarded as generally theologically sound and valuable is evident from its inclusion after Revelation in Codex Sinaiticus, the earliest surviving complete New Testament manuscript.5

Paget stresses the writer’s use of Jewish exegetical methods6 and even allows the possibility that the writer was Jewish,7 although Skarsaune thinks his knowledge of rabbinic haggadah is only second-hand and that he was certainly Gentile.8 His antagonism toward Jews and Judaism should be understand in the context of fierce religious competition between the Church and Synagogue, and the probability that the former was losing proselytes to the latter.9 Horbury concludes that compared to Justin Martyr's writings, this document is 'more strongly Jewish as well as anti-Jewish.'10 It seems probable that he knew the Gospel of Matthew but otherwise shows no dependence on writings from what would become the New Testament.11

Barnabas is an important witness to the early Christian understanding of supernatural evil. Satan plays a prominent role in his theology, and he also refers to demons and bad angels.

Satanological Terminology in Barnabas

Barnabas uses a number of different terms to refer to Satan. Some are known from earlier Christian tradition. ho satanas (Satan; Barn. 18.1) is, with ho diabolos, the most widely used Satanological term in the New Testament.12 ho ponēros (the evil one;13; Barn. 2.10; 21.314) also occurs frequently in the New Testament as a designation for Satan.15 Barnabas' notion of Satan as a ruler is also commonplace in the New Testament.16 He refers to Satan as ho ponēros archōn (the evil ruler; Barn. 4.13) and as ho archōn kairou tou nun tēs anomias (the ruler over the present age of lawlessness; Barn. 18.2).

Other Satanological terms are used by Barnabas which do not occur in the New Testament. These include ho energōn (literally 'the one who is at work', Barn. 2.1), ho melas (the black one, Barn. 4.10; 20.1), and ho anomos (the lawless one, Barn. 15.5).

tou energountos (in lexical form, ho energōn) is a participial form of energeō. This verb is frequently used to refer to 'divine or supernatural action'17 in patristic literature. Gokey states that the use of energeō and its corresponding noun energeia 'for superhuman evil powers is common to the pagan, Jewish and Christian Hellenistic world.'18 On NT usage specifically, Gokey states that energeō, when used in the active voice, has a superhuman personal subject in all but one instance.19 As for the noun cognate, 'In the NT energeia only appears in Paul, where it always refers to the mystic supernatural power of divine or evil origin.'20 Forms of energeō or energeia are linked to Satan by Paul in Eph. 2:2 and 2 Thess. 2:9, and also by Justin Martyr in Dialogue with Trypho 69.1.21

One major lexical authority appears to take ho energōn in Barn 2.1 to refer to God.22 However, it is more likely that it refers to Satan,23 given the emphasis on 'evil days' just prior. Ehrman translates Barn. 2.1a, 'Since, then, the days are evil and the one who is at work holds sway.'24 Gokey renders ho energōn as 'the Agent'.25

The reference to ho energōn having exousia (power or dominion) in Barn. 2.1 parallels several New Testament texts which explicitly or implicitly attribute exousia to Satan.26

As for ho melas, Barnabas seems to be the first Christian writer to associate this term with Satan. What is the source of the imagery of Satan as 'the black one'? Based on the likelihood that Barnabas was written in Alexandria, where black-skinned Ethiopians would have been present, Byron argues that the use of this term for Satan 'as a trope within the ethno-political rhetorics about vices and sins.'27 However, Byron acknowledges that Barnabas never refers to 'blacks' as an ethnic group, and so his reconstruction of the background of ho melas is pure conjecture. Peerbolte is more likely correct that 'The use of melas for Satan originates in its use as a synonym of ponēros.'28 Hermas uses melas as a symbol of vice repeatedly in his Similitudes, with no hint of an ethnic connotation.29 Moreover, it is surely noteworthy that in Barn. 20.1, 'the path of the Black One' (tou melanos hodos)30 is explicitly contrasted, not with the colour white but with 'the path of light' (hodos tou phōtos) in Barn. 19.1, 12. The use of light/darkness imagery to draw a dualistic contrast is, of course, common in the New Testament, especially in the writings of John and Paul.31

Finally, tou anomou (in lexical form, ho anomos) in Barn. 15.5 could conceivably mean 'the lawless one' generically (as in Ezek. 18:24 LXX), or 'the lawless one' par excellence, i.e. Satan or the Antichrist. The expression ho anomos is used by Paul in 2 Thess. 2:8 of the Antichrist, whom Paul distinguishes from Satan but explicitly links with his activity.32 That Barnabas' tou anomou refers to Satan is probable for two reasons: firstly, generic wicked humans are referred to in the next phrase in the plural (krinei tous asebeis), making it unlikely that they are also referred to in the singular with a generic use of the article. Secondly, Satan is explicitly linked to 'the present age of lawlessness' in Barn. 18.2 as its ruler. The phrase 'age of lawlessness' or 'age of the lawless one' closely parallels the 'age of the lawlessness of Israel' (en kairō tēs anomias) mentioned in Testament of Dan 6.633 (a passage which also mentions 'Satan and his spirits'), suggesting some correspondence of thought.

Two main conclusions can be drawn from Barnabas' Satanological terminology. Firstly, while in certain respects his phraseology is unique (e.g. ho melas), broadly speaking his language and ideas about Satan closely parallel what we find in the New Testament. Secondly, it is clear that Barnabas regarded Satan as a supernatural, personal being. Further confirmation of this is seen in Barnabas' Two Ways material in Barn. 18.1-2, where he describes Satan as having angels who are set over against the angels of God.34

Other supernatural evil beings in Barnabas

Besides Satan, Barnabas knows of other supernatural evil beings. These include the angels of Satan just mentioned, as well as an evil angel (angelos ponēros) who, according to Barnabas, misled the Jews into practicing physical circumcision instead of spiritual (Barn. 9.4).35 Barnabas may be dependent upon the reference to angelōn ponērōn in Ps. 78(77):49 LXX for his terminology here.

Barnabas makes one mention of demons in the context of an argument spiritualising the Temple:
And so I conclude that a temple exists. But learn how it will be built in the name of the Lord. Before we believed in God, the dwelling place of our heart was corrupt and feeble, since it really was a temple build by hand; for it was full of idolatry and was a house of demons, because we did everything that was opposed to God. (Barn. 16.7)36
Gokey notes the 'strong affinities' between this passage and the Synoptic parable of the unclean spirit which goes out of a man and returns later to the 'house' with 'seven other spirits more evil than himself' (Matt. 12:45; Luke 11:24-26).37 By internalizing the temple of God within the heart, Barnabas' thought also closely parallels Paul's doctrine of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit.38 Wahlen states, 'The thought seems to be that demons, which rule the Jews as truly as they rule the Gentile nations, are expelled from the heart of the forgiven believer.'39 This contrasts with Kelly, who states that here 'there is no real indication that baptism has an exorcistic meaning.'40 Along the same lines, Russell thinks the idea expressed here is that of temptation from without, not demon-possession.41 Whatever the case, it is apparent that Barnabas believed in the real existence of demons.

Concluding observations

Two other observations will help illustrate how Barnabas uses language pertaining to supernatural evil. Firstly, despite his clear belief in supernatural evil beings, Barnabas also regards evil as having an anthropological dimension. He refers to 'the purification of our hearts' (8:3), to 'the one who is sick in the flesh' who is 'healed by the foul juice of the hyssop' (8:6). He writes of those who 'are reputed to perform a lawless deed in their mouth because of their uncleanness' (10:8), to those who 'received his words according to the desires of their own flesh' (10:9), to those 'full of sins and filth' (11:11), to those 'completely filled with sins' and 'hearts that were already paid out to death and given over to the lawlessness of deceit' (14:5). Moreover, Barnabas' main teaching on how to overcome Satan is not magical but ethical. This is evident from the extended ethical instruction which follows the pronouncement that Satan is set over the path of darkness (Barn. 19.1-12; 21.1-9).

Secondly, Barnabas offers no attempt to explain or justify his ideas about Satan, bad angels, and demons. He simply offers a series of passing allusions to these concepts. Evidently, these ideas are part of the Christian worldview which he can assume his audience shares with him, not a controversial claim for which he needs to make an argument. This suggests that Barnabas' beliefs about Satan and demons are not innovative but taken over from earlier Christian tradition. Further corroboration of this conclusion is found in the close conceptual and terminological parallel between Barnabas' beliefs and those in the New Testament, despite little evidence for Barnabas' direct dependence on New Testament writings.


  • 1 Paget, J.C. (2006). The Epistle of Barnabas. The Expository Times, 117(11), 441-446. Here p. 443.
  • 2 Skarsaune, O. (2002). In the shadow of the temple: Jewish influences on early Christianity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, p. 218.
  • 3Horbury, W. (1992). Jewish-Christian Relations in Barnabas and Justin Martyr. In J.D.G. Dunn (Ed.), Jews and Christians: The Parting of the Ways, A.D. 70 to 135 (pp. 315-345). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, pp. 327-328.
  • 4Hvalvik, R. (1996). The Struggle for Scripture and Covenant: The Purpose of the Epistle of Barnabas and Jewish-Christian Competition in the Second Century. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 331.
  • 5 Note: the Shepherd of Hermas is also included in this manuscript after the Epistle of Barnabas.
  • 6 'It has long been noted by scholars that Barnabas consists of material of a strongly Jewish character.' (Paget, J. C. (1996). Paul and the Epistle of Barnabas. Novum Testamentum, 38(4), 359-381. Here p. 377.)
  • 7 Paget, 2006, op. cit., p. 442.
  • 8 Skarsaune, op. cit., p. 220.
  • 9 Hvalvik, op. cit., pp. 324-326; Evans, C.A. (2000). Root Causes of the Jewish-Christian Rift from Jesus to Justin. In S.E. Porter & B.W.R. Pearson (Eds.), Christian-Jewish Relations through the Centuries (pp. 20-35). Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, p. 22.
  • 10 Horbury, op. cit., p. 332.
  • 11 Hvalvik, op. cit., pp. 32-34.
  • 12 36 occurrences: Matt. 4:10, 12:26 (twice), 16:23; Mark 1:13, 3:23 (twice), 3:26, 4:15, 8:33; Luke 10:18, 11:18, 13:16, 22:3, 22:31; John 13:27; Acts 5:3, 26:18; Rom. 16:20; 1 Cor. 5:5, 7:5; 2 Cor. 2:11, 11:14, 12:7; 1 Thess. 2:18; 2 Thess. 2:9; 1 Tim. 1:20; 5:15; Rev. 2:9, 2:13 (twice), 2:24, 3:9, 12:9, 20:2, 20:7.
  • 13 Byron suggests that ho ponēros here 'could refer to the devil, or more specifically to the Roman emperor Trajan' (Byron, G.L. (2002). Symbolic blackness and ethnic difference in early Christian literature. New York: Routledge, p. 64). In support of the latter proposal, he notes that Trajan is referred to as the 'evil one' in the Jerusalem Talmud, Sukkah 5.1, 55B: 'In the time of Trogianos, the evil one (טרוגיינוס הרשע), a son was born to him on the ninth of Av...' (ibid., p. 155 n. 68). He is dependent on Modrzejewski, J. (1997). The Jews of Egypt: from Rameses II to Emperor Hadrian. Princeton: Princeton University Press, p. 209 (see also, e.g. Neusner, J. (Ed.). (1988). The Talmud of the Land of Israel (Vol. 17). Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 118; Saldarini, A.J. (1975). The Fathers according to Rabbi Nathan. Leiden: Brill. 68; Goldberg, D. (1970). The Leaven of Judaism. Woodbridge: Twayne, p. 164.) In fact, not only Trajan but also Titus is referred to in Jewish literature as 'the evil one' (the latter for entering the Holy of Holies). However, two observations reduce the significance of this parallel with the satanic designation ho ponēros. In the first place, when applied to Trajan or Titus, 'the evil one' accompanies the emperor’s personal name: it is 'Trajan the evil one' or 'Titus the evil one'. 'The evil one' does not function as a stand-alone designation for either emperor. Secondly, הרשע need not even function as a substantive in these texts; one could also translate it as an attribute adjective: 'the evil Titus' or 'Trajan the Wicked' (Modrzejewski, op. cit., p. 207; Neusner, op. cit., p. 118; Dershowitz, N. & Reingold, E.M. (2008). Calendrical Calculations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 101; Alon, G. (1980). The Jews in their Land in the Talmudic Age. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 383; Attias, J.-C. (2014). The Jews and the Bible. Redwood City: Stanford University Press, p. 38; Feldman, L.H. (1996). Studies in Hellenistic Judaism. Leiden: Brill, pp. 3-4; Holder, M. (1986). History of the Jewish People: From Yavneh to Pumbedisa. Brooklyn: Mesorah Publications, p. 29; Finkel, A.Y. (trans.) (1999). Ein Yaakov: The Ethical and Inspirational Teachings of the Talmud. New York: Aronson, p. 425; Zinberg, I. (1977). A History of Jewish Literature. New York: KTAV Publishing, p. 31.). In view of this, it is unlikely that the substantive ho ponēros in Barnabas or any other early Christian text refers to the Roman emperor. It is rather a designation for Satan.
  • 14 The gender of tō ponērō in Barn. 21.3 is ambiguous so this could refer to 'the evil one' or 'evil' abstractly. Only in Barn. 2.10 do we have unambiguous masculine usage. Holmes mistranslates to ponēron in Barn. 19.11 as 'the evil one' (Holmes, M.W. (2007) The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations. Grand Rapids: Baker Books, p. 437.). This expression is neuter and so can only refer to evil abstractly (Ehrman, B.D. (2003). The Apostolic Fathers, Vol. 2. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, p. 79.)
  • 15 Certainly in Matt. 13:19; 1 John 2:13, 2:14, 5:18; probably in Matt. 5:37, 6:13, 13:38; Eph. 6:16; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 John 3:12, 5:19; possibly in Matt. 5:39.
  • 16 For the term, see Matt. 12:24-29; Mark 3:22-27; Luke 11:15-21; John 12.31, 14:30, 16:11; Eph. 2:2; for the concept, see Luke 4:5; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 4:4; 1 John 5:19.
  • 17 Lampe, G.W.H. (1961). A Patristic Greek Lexicon, Vol. 1. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 473.
  • 18 Gokey, F.X. (1961). The Terminology for the Devil and Evil Spirits in the Apostolic Fathers. Washington: The Catholic University of America Press, p. 104 n. 1.
  • 19 Ibid.
  • 20 Ibid., p. 103 n. 1.
  • 21 For other early Christian texts where these words are used of demonic activity, see Lampe, op. cit., pp. 472-473.
  • 22 Arndt, W., Danker, F.W. & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature, 3rd ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, p. 335.
  • 23 So Gokey, op. cit., p. 99; Ehrman, op. cit., p. 15 n. 1; Prostmeier, F.P. (1999). Der Barnabasbrief. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, p. 182.
  • 24 Ehrman, op. cit., p. 15. Holmes, op. cit., p. 383 offers an identical translation of ho energōn.
  • 25 Gokey, op. cit., p. 99.
  • 26 Luke 4:6; 10:19; 22:53; Acts 26:18; Eph. 2:2; Col. 1:13.
  • 27 Byron, op. cit., p. 65.
  • 28 Peerbolte, L.J.L. (1996). The Antecedents of Antichrist: A Traditio-Historical Study of the Earliest Christian Views on Eschatological Opponents. Leiden: Brill, p. 191.
  • 29 Hermas, Similitudes 9.1.5; 9.6.4; 9.8.1ff; 9.9.5; 9.13.8; 9.15.1, 3; 9.19.1; so Arndt et al, op. cit., p. 626.
  • 30 Since the gender of tou melanos is ambiguous, it is possible to render this as 'the path of blackness', which may make more sense given that the antithesis is impersonal ('light') (cf. 'the path of darkness' in Barn. 18.1). However, in Barn. 4.10 ho melas is unambiguously masculine and so refers to a personal being.
  • 31 e.g. John 3:19; 12:35; Acts 26:18; 2 Cor. 6:14; 1 Thess. 5:5.
  • 32 It is not clear whether Barnabas' theology includes an eschatological Antichrist figure and, if so, whether this individual is distinct from Satan himself, as in 2 Thessalonians, or is Satan himself, as in the Ascension of Isaiah.
  • 33 Arndt et al, op. cit., p. 86.
  • 34 For New Testament parallels to the idea of Satan having angels, see Matt. 25:41; 2 Cor. 12:7; Rev. 12:7-9.
  • 35 Paget takes this evil angel to be the devil himself (Paget, J.C. (1994). The Epistle of Barnabas: Outlook and Background. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 183). However, Russell more plausibly takes it to be an unspecified evil angel since it lacks the article (Russell, J.B. (1981/1987). Satan: The Early Christian Tradition. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, p. 39 n. 23).
  • 36 Ehrman, op. cit., p. 73, trans.
  • 37 Gokey, op. cit., p. 108 n. 5.
  • 38 Ibid.
  • 39 Wahlen, C. (2004). Jesus and the Impurity of Spirits in the Synoptic Gospels. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, p. 63.
  • 40 Kelly, H.A. (1985/2004). The Devil at Baptism: Ritual, Theology, and Drama. Eugene: Wipf & Stock, p. 52.
  • 41 Russell, op. cit., p. 40.