Though the work is lost, Clement of Alexandria records a sentence urging asceticism that the Nicolaitanes ascribe to Matthias: "we must combat our flesh, set no value upon it, and concede to it nothing that can flatter it, but rather increase the growth of our soul by faith and knowledge". The Gospel of Matthias was mentioned by Origen of Alexandria; by Eusebius, who attributes it to heretics; by Jerome, and in the Decretum Gelasianum which declares it apocryphal. It comes at the end of the list of the Biblical Canon in the Codex Baroccianus 206, formerly in the library of Francesco Barozzi ("Barocius") of Venice.
This lost gospel is probably the document whence Clement of Alexandria quoted several passages, saying that they were borrowed from the traditions of Matthias, Paradoseis ("Paradoxes"), the testimony of which he claimed to have been invoked by the heretics Valentinus, Marcion, and Basilides. According to Philosophoumena, VII.20, Basilides quoted apocryphal discourses that he attributed to Matthias. These three writings: the Gospel, the Traditions, and the apocryphal Discourses were reckoned as referring to a single work by Theodor Zahn, but Adolf von Harnack denied this identification.
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