The Four Gospels in the Muratorian Fragment

I argued in my previous post that sometime between Justin, in Rome around 150-60, and Irenaeus in 185 the Gospels had begun to be known as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  In my opinion this did not happen earlier (if some of you are wondering about the witness of Papias, I’ll say something about him in a few later posts).   In terms of his personal and ecclesiastical life, Irenaeus is best known as the bishop of Lyons in Gaul (i.e., the ancient forerunner of Lyon, France).   But he spent significant time in Rome itself before his appointment in Gaul, and he considered the Roman church to be the center of Christendom at his time. There is another witness to the fourfold Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John from Irenaeus’s time, and also from Rome.   This comes to us in a fragmentary Latin text discovered in the 18th century and called the Muratorian Fragment.   This document was discovered by an Italian scholar named Lodovico Antonio Muratori in the Ambrosiana Library (and so it is named [...]