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the week to denote the period from the commencement of the Jewish War in A. D. 66, to its final termination in 73, in the middle of which period the termination of sacrifices took place by the destruction of the Temple in September A. D. 70. Mr. Faber makes the week terminate with that event, and so begin about the end of 63 or the beginning of 64. It is observable that at this time the declarations of Christ were brought to the view of the believers in Palestine by the publication of the Gospel of Matthew, which called their attention to the approaching signs of the predicted desolation; and the war by which the final termination of sacrifices and offerings was brought about, commenced in the middle of that period, from which time there must have been a great interruption, if not a general cessation, of the voluntary offerings and legal sacrifices of individuals, ending, before the actual taking of Jerusalem, in the total relinquishment of the daily sacrifices. This reference best suits the latter part of the verse, which, however it may be rendered, obviously has in view the destruction of the city by the Romans.

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The second argument is derived from the words of the Jews to our Lord, at the First Passover, John ii. 13, τεσσαράκοντα και εξ ετεσιν ῳκοδομήθη ó vaoç ouros, rendered in the Common Version, Forty and six years was this temple in building'. Without taking notice of what has been advanced by Mr. Benson, to show that this passage "cannot be made "subservient to the establishment or refutation of any system of chronology which the Messiah was to be cut off, end in the year 25. The next, the seventieth week, included the great event which virtually closed the dispensation of the Law. The single week last mentioned in the prophecy, I place as Faber does.- Whatever interpretation is the true one respecting the commencement of the Seventy Weeks, there is no room to doubt that this prophecy must have occasioned that general expectation of the coming of the Messiah which we find so strongly marked at the birth of our Lord.

The reader will be glad to see Dr. J. Pye Smith's rendering of the passage, as given in his Four Discourses on the Sacrifice and Priesthood of Christ. It is the most satisfactory I have seen. Seventy weeks are determined with regard to thy people, and with regard to thy holy city, to restrain the rebellion and to put a complete end to the sin, and to 'make atonement for iniquity, and to introduce a righteousness which shall be for ages, ' and to put a complete end to vision and prophecy, and to consecrate a holy of holies. Know then, and deeply consider, that from the going forth of the divine word for the ' return and for the rebuilding of Jerusalem, to the Messiah the Leader, shall be seven 'weeks and sixty-two weeks. Thou shalt return, and it shall be rebuilt, both the street ' and the ruined wall, even in distressful times. And, after the sixty-two weeks, the 'Messiah shall be cut off; and no one will be for him. And the people of a leader to 'come shall destroy both the city and the sanctuary: and its end shall be with an 'invasion; and to the end of the war desolations are determined. Also one week shall 'confirm the covenant with many; and half the week shall cause sacrifice and offering 'to cease. And upon the pinnacle shall be the abominations of desolation; and yet he will pour out the extirpation even determined upon the desolator.'

"with regard to our Saviour's life," Mr. Greswell (Diss. IV. and V.) gives a different rendering of the original, as being required by it, (viz. "Forty and six years hath this temple been building"); and then represents the passage, so rendered, as affording a decisive proof that the Passover occurred in the 13th year of Tiberius, A. D. 27.*

It is not necessary to follow Mr. Greswell's computations, because they rest upon a rendering, which, to say the least, is not required by the original. On the contrary, it is much more in accordance with the force of the aorist kodounen, to regard it as denoting that the building, when finished, had occupied forty-six years. This is also Mr. Benson's judgment: indeed, he goes so far as to say (p. 232), that the rendering which Mr. Greswell has since maintained, is "a translation to which the tense and meaning of wodounen is directly adverse".+-Whether, therefore, we refer the words of the Jews, as Mr. Benson does, to the original building of the Second Temple, or to the restoration of it by Herod, (which, in parts, was a complete rebuilding), together with additions afterwards made, we come to the conclusion of that judicious critic, already stated, that nothing can be certainly decided from this passage as to the date of the First Passover. Such also is the judgment of Kuinoel.

After what has been stated in this Section, the following positions may be considered as established.

1. There is no declaration in the Gospels which authorizes the hypothesis that there were four Passovers in our Lord's Ministry. And

2. There is no incidental statement which in any degree requires the admission of this hypothesis.

Further, this hypothesis was not known till the fourth century. See Sect. ii. 5. This hypothesis is, therefore, entirely destitute of proof.

Many, however, without having examined the grounds of the opinion that our Lord's Ministry included four Passovers, are accustomed to think of it as a matter of fact; and it may therefore be desirable to point out some objections which, taken together, press so strongly against it, that nothing but direct and unequivocal evidence could render it tenable.

* Whiston (Harm. p. 144) supposes that the building of the Temple was begun in Tizri, Jul. Per. 4694, and that it was finished in Nisan, Jul. Per. 4696. Adding 46 years to this, brings to Jul. Per. 4742, or A. D. 29. This he considers as deciding the date of the First Passover. So that Mr. Greswell's conclusion, even adopting his trans. lation, would not be a necessary one.

In reference to John x. 22, Mr. Greswell himself speaks of did take place, the import of the verb EyɛVETO, as "its simple, historical, and natural sense." Diss. vor. II. p. 443.

1. If we suppose our Lord's Ministry to have included four Passovers, we are then without information as to his transactions at a great proportion of the festivals which occurred in it; and even without intimation that he was present at any of which we have no record. See Sect. iii. Obs. 6. Upon the quadripaschal hypothesis, the Passover occurred four times in our Lord's Ministry, the Pentecost three times, and the Tabernacles three times and of these festivals, six are altogether without record. Now, when it is considered that the divine law by Moses strictly enjoined the attendance of all the males at Jerusalem three times in each year; and that our Lord declared, to the Baptist, that it became him to fulfil all righteousness, and, to his disciples, that he came not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfil them, and that he who broke one of the least commandments would be least in the kingdom of heaven; it seems inconceivable that he should absent himself from all of these six festivals: and when it is further considered that St. John's Gospel is obviously of a supplementary nature, it seems inconceivable that, if our Lord had been present at all or at several of them, this Evangelist should have taken no notice whatever of those at which he was present.

2. Upon the hypothesis of four Passovers, there must have been many long intervals of which we have no record. If the hypothesis were established by satisfactory proof,-if, for instance, St. Luke, who has so distinctly dated the commencement of the Baptist's Ministry, had spoken of the Passover at which our Lord was crucified as the fourth from his Baptism, or had said that he was crucified in the 18th year of Tiberius,— then, knowing the truth, we might readily reconcile our mind to circumstances which, without such support, appear inexplicable. But since the hypothesis rests upon such perfectly insufficient foundation, the above consideration, and others like it, must be allowed great weight in the investigation. Out of the three years and several months, we have not occurrences recorded that require the larger part of a year for the satisfactory arrangement of them.

3. The hypothesis of four Passovers is peculiarly inconsistent with the first three Gospels, which record no festivals, and do not even intimate any journey to Jerusalem, between our Lord's Baptism and his finally leaving Galilee, to go to the Passover at which he was crucified: yet, upon this hypothesis, nine great national festivals took place in that interval. (See the 1st Objection). This difficulty derives its greatest force from the nature of St. Luke's Gospel, who obviously knew nothing of the Gospels by Matthew and Mark; and who undertook an independent record of the all-important transactions which he knew of, for the sake of his noble friend Theophilus, purposing to make it as complete as his means of knowledge enabled

him. If this invaluable historian had known that the Ministry of Christ continued above three years, it is not admissible that he should give no information as to the fact, although he accurately dates the commencement of the great æra: nor is it admissible that he should have been entirely ignorant of the fact, if this had been according to the common opinion.

4. The supposed long duration of our Lord's Ministry, taken in connection with the small extent of the districts in which it was exercised, (see Diss. III.), presents great difficulties, when we consider the little effect actually produced by his personal instructions and miracles, i. e. during the period before his Ascension into heaven. The main purpose of his personal Ministry was to prepare for the preaching of the Gospel, by his fully-empowered disciples, after that event; and it was through them that the knowledge of it was effectually diffused. Many more converts were made, there is reason to believe, soon after his communication of the spirit to them on the day of Pentecost, than had been made in the whole period of his personal Ministry.

SECT. V. On the Tripaschal Hypothesis-that the Ministry of Christ included Three Passovers only.

1. General View of the Arguments for it.

The foundation of this hypothesis, though narrower, is apparently firmer than that of the quadripaschal: and the difficulties which rest upon it are less forcible than those which overwhelm the latter.

The system of two Passovers only, having been viewed as dependent on an alteration in the text that is opposed by the soundest principles of criticism, it was very natural for an intelligent scripturalist, impressed with the deficiency of evidence for the system of four Passovers and the extreme difficulties attending it, to adopt that of three Passovers only. Yet is this attended with difficulties by far too great for the degree of evidence by which it is supported.

There are two leading forms in which the hypothesis of three Passovers has been held.

I. The ancient one maintained that the festival in the fifth of John was a Passover, and that all the events recorded in the first three Gospels, (respecting the Preaching of Christ in Galilee after the Imprisonment of John), took place in the year preceding the Crucifixion. This, of course, requires us to admit that the Passover referred to in John vi. 4, as approaching, was the last Passover.

See Marsh's Notes on Michaelis, vol. III. p. 57— 59.

II. The modern form, adopted by Lamy and Bengelius, and since by Mr. Benson, regards the festival in the fifth of John as the Pentecost, and the Passover mentioned in John vi. 4. as a second, not the last, Passover.

By Mr. Benson's successful refutation of the opinion that the festival in the fifth of John is a Passover, the examination of the hypothesis of three Passovers is greatly narrowed. It now rests solely on the position that the Passover described by St. John as approaching when the miracle of the Five Thousand was wrought, was not that at which our Lord was crucified, but the preceding one. But there is no decisive proof of this; while it is quite inconsistent with the situation of the miracle in the other Gospels, and, especially, in that of Luke. See Luke ix. 7-56.

It was from considering this latter fact, that Petit, Vossius, and Burmann, as before stated, (see p. xvi.), came so decidedly to the conclusion, that the Passover referred to in John vi. 4 was the Crucifixion Passover; since, according to St. Luke, our Lord wrought the miracle of the Five Thousand not long before the time arrived when he was to be received up, and when he accordingly directed his face steadfastly towards Jerusalem. Indeed, taking into account the exactness with which St. Luke has given a commencing date, his specification of other dates where Matthew and Mark have assigned none, and his faithful accuracy of research, it is an inadmissible supposition, that, if he knew the miracle to have been wrought a year before the time had arrived when the Lord was to be received up, he could have placed it in such close connection with that time; or that he could have been ignorant of the fact, if more than a year intervened between that miracle and the Last Passover.

The orderly character of St. John's Gospel, so much impresses the minds of those who become familiar with it, that it is in no way surprising that they should feel averse to the idea of its having in this instance, and perhaps here alone, departed from a chronological arrangement. If, indeed, this were the only narrative, there might be no adequate reason to suppose such departure: but with the other Gospels in view, nothing but an express statement of this Evangelist, or some necessary inference from his words, that he intended to write, throughout, in a chronological order, could be allowed as adequate proof that the record in the sixth chapter stands in that order.

But it has been argued, that St. John repeated the account of the miracle, contrary to his usual system, in order to establish the true period of it, which could not have been learnt from the other Evangelists: yet,

This is the view of Mr. Benson. In the First Edition of these Dissertations, (which were published separately, as well as with the Harmony), I entered into a detailed

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