« PreviousContinue »
DR. ADAM CLARKE'S
THE NEW TESTAMENT.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES, THE EPISTLES TO THE ROMANS,
AND CORINTHIANS, I. and II.
PRINTED FOR J. BUTTERWORTH & SON, FLEET-STREET.
No. 13, WHITE-FRIARS STREET, DUBLIN.
INTRODUCTION TO THE FOUR GOSPELS,
AXD TO THE
ACTS OF THE APOSTLES,
INFORMATION NECESSARY TO A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE VARIOUS
REFERENCES FOUND IN THE NOTES ON THESE BOOKS,
THE Introduction, so long promised, giving an account of the Manuscripts, Versions, &c. referred to in this Work, is at last before my Readers; and could not, with any propriety, have been published sooner, as the Gospel History could not be considered complete, till the Book of the Acts was finished. As the chronology of the New Testament ends with the two years' imprisonment of Paul at Rome, it may be thought needless to carry it any farther down : but as there is some reason to believe, that he visited Rome a second time, and suffered martyrdom there about A. D. 64 or 65; and as learned men have agreed that the Apocalypse, which completes the canon of the New Testament, was not written till about the year 96 ; I have thought it necessary to carry down the Chronology through the whole of the first century of the Christian æra ; that, if I should not have health or life to proceed any farther in this Work, that important part should be left in a state of tolerable perfection. I have proceeded on the same plan with the four Gospels, and the Book of the Acts, as I have done with the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua ; and have reason to thank God, that he has spared me to go through (in the manner I first proposed) with these two most important parts of that Revelation, which his mercy has granted to man. In the first, (the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua) the history of the world and its original inhabitants, and the history of the church, are brought down from the creation, to the final settlement of the Israelites in the Promised Land. In the second, (the Four Gospels and Book of Acts) I have deduced the important events of the Christian dispensation from six years before the vulgar æra, down to the year 100. This Chronology is as rich in the necessary æras, as that which is attached to the Book of Deuteronomy: and has, I hope, left nothing unnoticed that belongs to such a work. The account of MSS. Versions, &c. is necessarily short : I could not proceed further in this description, without involving much of that sort of Biblical Criticism, which could not be advantageous to general readers. I have, therefore, only introduced what I deemed necessary for a proper understanding of the references to be found in the Commentary itself.
I have purposely avoided the question concerning the authenticity of the Sacred Writings in general. On a thorough conviction, I assume the fact, that they are a divine record, a revelation from God. This has been so amply proved, that the Christian cause has had a complete triumph. I consider, therefore, the question to,