Today, whilst reading some Jerome, I stumbled upon the following gem from his Epistulae, in which he instructs a certain Laeta on how to raise her daughter:
Let her avoid all apocryphal writings, and if she is led to read such not by the truth of the doctrines which they contain but out of respect for the miracles contained in them; let her understand that they are not really written by those to whom they are ascribed, that many faulty elements have been introduced into them, and that it requires infinite discretion to look for gold in the midst of dirt (Epist. 107.12).
Gold in the midst of dirt? Ouch, Jerome. Ouch.
Wonder what he’d say about those of us who write dissertations on apocryphal writings?