Early Church Fathers Quotes on Spurious Text
Besides the above [misrepresentations], they (the heretics) adduce an unspeakable number of apocryphal and spurious writings, which they themselves have forged, to bewilder the minds of foolish men, and of such as are ignorant of the Scriptures of truth.
Clement of Alexandria
They (the heretics) derived their doctrines from an apocryphal work. I will quote the text which is the mother of their licentiousness. And whether they themselves, I mean the authors of the book, bare responsible (see their madness, for by their licentiousness they do grievous wrong to God).
The Apostle Paul will show, saying: “Take also the Hellenic books, read the Sibyl, how it is shown that God is one, and how the future is indicated. And taking Hystaspes, read, and you will find much more luminously and distinctly the Son of God described, and how many kings shall draw up their forces against Christ, hating Him and those that bear His name, and His faithful ones, and His patience, and His coming.” Then in one word he asks us, “Whose is the world, and all that is in the world? Are they not God’s?” Wherefore Peter says, that the Lord said to the apostles: “If any one of Israel then, wishes to repent, and by my name to believe in God, his sins shall be forgiven him, after twelve years. Go forth into the world, that no one may say, We have not heard.”
But the woman of pertness, who has usurped the power to teach, will of course not give birth for herself likewise to a right of baptizing, unless some new beast shall arise like the former; so that, just as the one abolished baptism, so some other should in her own right confer it! But if the writings which wrongly go under Paul’s name, claim Thecla’s example as a licence for women’s teaching and baptizing, let them know that, in Asia, the presbyter who composed that writing, as if he were augmenting Paul’s fame from his own store, after being convicted, and confessing that he had done it from love of Paul, was removed from his office. For how credible would it seem, that he who has not permitted a woman even to learn with over-boldness, should give a female the power of teaching and of baptizing! “Let them be silent,” he says, “and at home consult their own husbands.”
And if any one should quote it to us out of the little treatise entitled The Doctrine of Peter, in which the Savior seems to say to His disciples, “I am not an incorporeal demon,” I have to reply, in the first place, that that work is not included among ecclesiastical books; for we can show that it was not composed either by Peter or by any other person inspired by the Spirit of God.
The Scriptures which are current in the Churches of God do not speak of “seven” heavens, or of any definite number at all… In none of the Gospels current in the Churches is Jesus Himself ever described as being a carpenter.
There are also in circulation one to the Laodiceans, and another to the Alexandrians, forged under the name of Paul, and addressed against the heresy of Marcion; and there are also several others which cannot be received.
The Epistle of Jude, indeed, and two belonging to the above-named John – or bearing the name of John – are reckoned among the general epistles. And the book of Wisdom, written by the friends of Solomon in his honor. We receive also the Apocalypse of John and that of Peter, though some amongst us will not have this latter read in the Church. The Pastor, moreover, did Hermas write very recently in our times in the city of Rome, while his brother bishop Pius sat in the chair of the Church of Rome. And therefore it also ought to be read; but it cannot be made public in the Church to the people, nor placed among the prophets, as their number is complete, nor among the apostles to the end of time. Of the writings of Arsinous, called also Valentinus, or of Miltiades, we receive nothing at all. Those are rejected too who wrote the new Book of Psalms for Marcion, together with Basilides and the founder of the Asian Cataphrygians.