Heidegger's Bible Handbook: NT Apocrypha: Baronius' "Sophon Pharmakon"

14. And Baronius’ σοφὸν φάρμακον is examined.

Cesar Baronius

Since not a few indications of more recent origin are found in the Liturgies hitherto reviewed, Baronius, on 63 AD, note 17, adds this σοφὸν φάρμακον, skillful healing remedy, cunning enchantment: But it happens (which also evidently happened among the Latins), that in the most holy Mass, with some prayers superadded, but others contracted in a briefer summary, and some rites enlarged or changed, yet with the substance remaining the same, a little afterwards it is found to be quite diverse from that original liturgy. Bellarmine also, de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis, on the year 33 AD, writes that the liturgy of James was so augmented by those coming after, that it is not easy to judge what part of that Liturgy has Saint James as its author. But, when did they see the ancient liturgies, so that they might be able to say that they have been interpolated? And also some Criticism will be needed by the Papists, whereby they might separate the genuine from the trifling, the proper from the alien, the Divine from the human, the authentic from the uncertain. Undoubtedly those think more rightly, who state that those Liturgies display the names of Apostles, not because they were written by Apostles as authors; but because in the Churches, which they are thought to have constituted, of those regions or cities, they were in use.

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