The Latin Prologues on the Gospels

For those interested in the Latin Prologues attached to the Gospels found in manuscripts from the fourth to fourteenth century, instead of putting them all up here I will just point you to Ben C. Smith’s website for the full Latin texts and translations of the so-called “Anti-Marcionite” prologues (the second century dating, Roman provenance, and unitary purpose in refuting Marcionism has first put forward by De Bruyne has been challenged in subsequent scholarship) and the “Monarchian” Prologues (Monarchians view the deity as appearing in different modes as Father, Son or Spirit as opposed to trinitarianism where God consists of three co-eternal Persons in one essence).  If you are interested in exploring some of the idiosyncratic claims about the individual evangelists made in the prologues based on traditions contemporary in their day, such as Mark as stump-fingered (cf. Hippolytus, Refutations 7.30) along with the various rationalizations offered for this odd description, Luke as a Syrian who remained celibate and wrote in the regions of Achaea, John as opposing the adoptionist Cerinthus/the Jewish-Christian Ebionites or that Papias served as his scribe, the following bibliography may be helpful:

  • Black, C. Clifton.  Mark: Images of an Apostolic Interpreter.  Minneapolis: Fortress, 2001.
  • Chapman, John.  Notes on the Early History of the Vulgate Gospels.  Oxford: Claredon, 1908.
  • De Bruyne, Donatien.  “Les plus anciens prologues Latines des Evangiles.”  Revue Bénedictine 40 (1928): 193-213.
  • Grant, Robert M.  “The Oldest Gospel Prologues.”  Anglican Theological Review 23 (1941): 231-245.
  • Gutwenger, Engelbert.  “The Anti-Marcionite Prologues.”  TS 7 (1946): 393-409.
  • Harnack, Adolf von.  “Die ältesten Evangelien-Prologe und die Bildung des Neuen Testaments.” Sitzungsberichte der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Philosophisch-historische Klasse 24.  Berlin: De Gruyter, 1928: 322-341.
  • Heard, Richard G.  “The Old Gospel Prologues.”  Journal of Theological Studies  6 (1955): 1-16.
  • Howard, W.F.   “The Anti-Marcionite Prologues to the Gospels.” Expository Times 47 (1935-36): 534-38.
  • North, J.L.  “MARKOS HO KOLOBODAKTYLOS: Hippolytus, Elenchus, VII.30.  Journal of Theological Studies 29 (1977): 498-507.
  • Orchard, Bernard and Riley, Harold.  The Order of the Synoptics: Why Three Synoptic Gospels.  Macon: Mercer University Press, 1987.
  • Regul, Jürgen.  Die antimarcionitischen Evangelienprologe.  Vetus Latina 6.  Freiburg: Herder, 1969.



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