« PreviousContinue »
From the Birth of Christ to the Temptation.
1 MARK i. 1. The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of A.D. 44. God.
ten at Jerusalem.
The place assigned in this arrangement to Mark i. 1. is sanctioned by the authorities of Dr. Campbell (a), Le Clerc (6), and Pilkington (c); the last of whom prefixes it to his harmony as an appropriate preface to the whole of the Evangelical narrative. The word evayyedcov, in this passage, appears to bear the same signification as in another text of the same Evangelist, Mark xiv. 9. αμήν λέγω υμίν, όπου αν κηρυχθή το ευαγγέλιον (α) τούτο εις όλον τον κόσμον, κ. τ.λ. In both these passages the more obvious sense of the word seems to be, “ the narrative, or record, of our Lord's life and actions," Mark i. 1. The beginning of the History of Jesus Christ, &c.—and in Mark xiv. 9. “Wherever the relation of my actions shall be told, through the whole world, there also," &c. &c. To this opinion, however, are opposed the eminent authorities of Michaelis (e), Bishop Marsh (f), Archbishop Neweome (g), Lightfoot (h), Doddridge (i), Markland (k), Whitby (1), Grotius (m), Kuinoel (n), and many others, who consider the passage in question but the first phrase of a
(a) Campbell on the Gospels, vol. ii. p. 463, note 4, edit. 1789, 4to. (6) Apud Elsley in loc. vol. ii. p. 2. (c) Evangelical History and Harmony, note, p. 1.
(d) Vide Schleusner in voc. evayyédiov—4—metonymice designat singulas religionis Christianæ partes, v. c. historiam evangelicam de vita, factis, et fatis J. C. Matth. xxvi. 13. Marc. xiv. 9. Ita capitur quoque in inscriptionibus Matth. Marc. Luc. et Joh. pro libro de dictis, factis, et fatis J. C. për evangelistas conscripto. (e) Introduction to the New Testament, vol. iii. part i. p. 2. (f) Notes to Michaelis, vol. iii. part ii. p. 5. (g) Notes to the Harmony of New Testament, p. 1. () Works, fol. edit. 1684. vol. ii.
(i) Family Expositor, vol. i. p. 93. 8vo. 1810. (k) Apud Elsley in loc. (1) Commentary in loc. (m) Grotius-Annotationes in V. & N. T. in compendium deductæ a Sam. Moody, 4to. 1727. (n) Comments in lib. N. T. historicos, vol. ii. p. 11.
2 LUKE i. 1-5. Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in
long sentence, and consequently not to be separated from the context. They
· The Harmonists have generally agreed in placing the introduction to St. Luke's Gospel as the preface to their respective works; among whom are the five whose labours form unitedly the basis of the present arrangement-Lightfoot, Archbishop Newcome, Michaelis, Doddridge, and Pilkington. This preface of St. Luke may be considered as demonstrating to us the very great care with which the first disciples of Christ inquired into every circumstance of the
() Critic. History of the Text of the N. T. part i. ch. ii. p. 12.
order a declaration of those things which are most surely A.D. 64. believed among us,
life of their Divine Master, before they delivered them to the world as authenticated. It is necessary, in this part of our arrangement, to pay some attention to this fact. Even the enemies of our Lord acknowledged Him to have been an eminent and wonderful personage. His mode of teaching, his astonishing knowledge, the sanctity of his character, the boldness of his public censures, the number of his followers, and the devoted attachment of his more immediate adherents, would have been sufficient to have excited the general attention of the people, and of their rulers. Many persons, therefore, would have been naturally led to enquire into, and collect, the various circumstances and actions of a life so extraordinary. Spurious works must have been published (such as the Gospels according to the Nazarenes, Hebrews, and Egyptians; of Nicodemus, Thomas, Matthias, and of the twelve Apostles; the Gospels of Cerinthus, Basilides, and others, all of which were rejected by the Churches without hesitation, as they were scrupulously cautious of what they admitted (v),) and it became the duty of those who possessed accurate information, and were anxious for the honour of their beloved Teacher, and for the propagation of his Gospel, to transmit to posterity an authentic history of the life and death of their crucified Lord. Such were the motives by which this Evangelist professes to have been actuated, when he wrote his Gospel to Theophilus, a convert of Antioch.
Three hypotheses have been submitted to the world to account for the very singular coincidences of language and paragraphs which abound in the three first Gospels. Of these, the chief, adopted by Dr. Townson (g), Grotius, Wetstein, Owen, Mill, Hales, Harwood, and Griesbach, is, that the Evangelists copied from each other. St. Luke, however, seems to speak of his intended work, as an original history, not as a series of extracts from accredited writers. For though many circumstances are not related by St. Luke in their exact chronological order, the most important are detailed in their natural succession, Kamers—"in a continued series.” (Vide Kuinoel in loc.) He begins with the conception and birth both of John and of Christ, and proceeds with the events of his conversing with the doctors in the temple, his baptism, &c. &c. See some admirable observations on the difference between the historian and annalist, and the necessity of exact observance of chronological order, in Bishop Marsh's Notes to Michaelis (r). The second hypothesis is, that the Evangelists derived their information from one common source, or document, which contained those passages wbich so frequently occur in the three Gospels in nearly the same words. This hypothesis is adopted by Le Clerc, Lessing, Michaelis, and Eichhorn. Its chief advocate in later times has been the present learned
(p) Vide Gill's Comment. in loc.-Jones's Full and new Method of settling the Canonical Authority of the New Testament, 8vo. 3 vols. 1726. Vol. i. p. 29, &c. and vol. iii. p. 102, &c --Rennell's Proofs of Inspiration, written in reply to the insidious work of Mr. Hone, entitled, The Apocrypbal New Testament. See particularly p. vi. of Mr. Rennell's Introduction. (9) Vide Dr. Townson's work on the Gospels, vol. i. particularly pages 39 to 71; and for a very satisfactory account of these hypotheses, Horne's Critical Introduction, 2d edit. vol. iv. p. 310, &c. (r) Vol. iii. part ii. p. 12, &c.