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who has been so keen-sighted in spying out the faults and errors of the wonderful conceit about an Original Gospel, as the grand menstruum by which all difficulties were to be solved, should have given so easy credence to the Bishop of Peterborough in the present case. I can explain it only by the supposition, that he saw in this theory, as he says, a conclusive reason in favour of an original Hebrew Gospel, and then found decisive evidences of the work of a translator and of the manner of that work.
I should begin the examination of this theory, in case I felt at liberty now to go fully into it, by a denial of the main fact, viz., that in cases where all three of the Evangelists relate the same occurrence and Luke differs from Matthew, Matthew, i. e. the translator of Matthew, attaches hinself to Mark and agrees with him. Nothing is like facts in such a case; but to them I must briefly refer the reader, not thinking it meet here to produce the Greek originals at full length. I refer him, however, to the pages in Newcome's Greek Harmony, the second edition recently published, where these originals are spread out to bis eye, and he can instantly determine whether my statement is correct.
Compare then, (1) Matt. 17: 18 with the latter part of Luke 9: 42 and Mark 9: 25. (Harm. p. 105.)
Here Matthew, although discrepant in some respects from both of the other Evangelists, is plainly much nearer in matter and manner to Luke than he is to Mark.
(2) Matt. 17: 22 with Mark 9: 31 and Luke 9: 44. (Harm. p. 106.)
Here Luke and Matthew exhibit μέλλει παραδίδοσθαι, while Mark has simply παραδίδοται.
(3) Matt. 22: 27 with Mark 12: 22 and Luke 20:32. (Harm. p. 156.)
In this case Matthew and Luke exhibit ύστερον δε πάντων, , while Mark has εσχάτη πάντων. .
(4) Matt. 26: 16 with Mark 14: 11 and Luke 22: 6. (Harm.
Here Matthew and Luke have εζήτει ευκαιρίαν; while Mark says: εζήτει πως ευκαίρως.
(5) Matt. 27: 59 with Mark 15: 46 and Luke 23: 53. (Harm. p. 207.)
Here Matthew and Luke: ένειύλιξεν αυτο (sc. σωμα Ιησού) σινδόνι; while Mark says: ενείλησε τη σινδόνι.
(6) Matt. 28: 6 with Mark 16: 6 and Luke 24: 6. (Harm. p. 210.)
Here Matthew and Luke say : Ούκ έστιν ώδε, ηγέρθη γάρ, (Luke, αλλ' ηγέρθη); while Mark says: ηγέρθη, ούκ έστιν ώδε.
These examples of discrepancy I have taken from De Wette's Introduction to the New Testament, $ 80, Note a. With this meagre list he seems to rest satisfied, in opposing the view of Bishop Marsh, which is presented above and which is so much applauded by Mr. Norton. My first impression on examining this list was, that it must be a rare case indeed in which Matthew could be found to agree with the diction of Luke, while the example of Mark was also before him. So at least De Wette would seem to have thought, when he gave to his readers such a list of coincidences with Matthew, seemingly the result of comparison throughout the parallel passages of the three first Gospels. The list is introduced into the midst of statements that wear an imposing appearance of great labour and diligence, in the examination of all the coincidences and discrepancies of the Gospels.
But I had learned, many years since, to believe that De Wette, with all his talent and learning (and be has much of both), is a very hasty, and not unfrequently a very inaccurate writer, and is not always to be depended on where long continued and patient research must be made. It was a inatter of course, therefore, for me to resort to the Greek Harmony, and there, to my surprise, after reading such statements in Bishop Marsh, Mr. Norton, and De Wette, I found, without any pains-taking, in every section which I investigated merely as it occurred on opening the book, facts which shew how utterly groundless this great discovery of my Lord of Peterborough is. Will the reader have patience while I present him with a few examples of what a few hours' diligent research brought under my notice ? The point to be settled here, (and this is my apology for dwelling upon it), is of more importance than every one at first view will be ready to suppose.
In the very first instance of triplex harmony that occurs in the Gospels, there are some striking discrepancies in the mode of narration, in which Matthew follows, (if I may be allowed this word merely for brevity's sake, for I hold Matihew to have been entirely an original writer), Luke instead of Mark.
(a) Compare Matt. 3: 3 with Mark 1: 2, 3 and Luke 3: 4. (Harm. p. 12.)
Here, after the words Isaiah the prophet, common to all three of the Evangelists, Matthew and Luke use héyovtos, and p. 32.)
then quote a passage from the Old Testament, as it stands in the Septuagint (Is. 40: 3), with the exception that instead of του θεού ημών τhere at the close, the two Evangelists both read αυτού. But here Mark, after the words Isaiah the prophet, inserts a passage from Malachi 3: 1, and then proceeds with the quotation from Isaiah, as in the other Evangelists. Moreover he omits the word λέγοντος, and in its stead employs γέγραπται.
(6) Matt. 3: 11, conipare with Mark 1: 7,8 and Luke 3: 16. (Harm. p. 13.)
Here Matthew and Luke employ βαπτίζω ; but Mark has εβάπτισε. Μatthew and Luke say, αυτος υμάς βαπτίσει εν πνεύματι αγίω και πυρί; but Mark says, αυτος δε βαπτίσει υμάς εν πνεύματι αγίω, difering in some respects as to manner, order, and matter. .
(c) Matt. 9: 5 with Mark 2: 9 and Luke 5: 23. (Harm.
Here, after τί... ευκοπώτερον; είπεϊν: Matthew and Luke immediately subjoin : αφέωνταί σου (σοι) αι αμαρτίαι; ή ειπείν "Εγειραι και περιπάτει; but Μark inserts τω παραλυτικο after the first είπείν, and for the last phrase he has"Εγειρε, άρον σου τον κράββατον, και περιπάτει;
(d) Matt. 12: 1 with Mark 2: 23 and Luke 6: 1. (Harm.
Matthew says, οι μαθηται... ήρξαντο τίλλειν στάχυας και εσθίεν; Luke, έτιλλον.... τους στάχυας, και ήσθιον; while Mark says, ήρξαντο οι μαθηταί αυτου οδον ποιείν τίλλοντες τους στάχυας, wholly omitting ήσθιον.
And again in the next succeeding verses, Matthew and Luke, δ ουκ έξεστι ποιείν εν σαββάτω (εν τοίς σαββασι), while Mark has τί ποιούσιν εν τοίς σαββασιν δ' ουκ έξεστι.
(e) Matt. 12: 4 with Mark 2: 26 and Luke 6: 4. (Harm. p. 37.)
Here Matthew and Luke, εισήλθεν εις τον οίκον του θεού, και τους άρτους της προθέσεως έφαγεν (έλαβε); but Μark inserts after θεού the words επι 'Αβιάθαρ του αρχιερέως.
(f) Matt. 12: 13 with Mark 3: 5 and Luke 6: 10. (Harm.
Rejecting the evidently spurious readings here, Matthew says, και αποκατεστάθη υγιης ως η άλλη, but Luke adds η χειρ αυτού after αποκατεστάθη and omits υγιής (according to the
corrected text); while Mark simply says, anoxatzoráln ri zeig αυτού, omitting wholly the ως η άλλη.
(g) Matt. 12: 25 with Mark 3: 24 and Luke 11:17. (Harm.
Matthew and Luke, πασα βασιλεία [δια] μερισθείσα... έρημούται; but Mark, εαν βασιλεία ... μερισθη, ου δύναται σταθηναι. .
(h) Matt. 13: 8 with Mark 4: 7 and Luke 8: 7. (Harm. p. 62.)
Matthew and Luke, απέπνιξαν; Mark, συνέπνιξαν. (1) Matt. 13: 10 with Mark 4: 10 and Luke 8: 9. (Harm.
Matthew and Luke, οι μαθηταί ; Mark, οι περί αυτόν.
(1) Matt. 19:21 with Mark 10: 21 and Luke 18: 22. (Harm. p. 137.)
Here Matthew and Luke, droloufel uol %. 1. d.; while Mark adds to this, äoas tov oravcov, and then proceeds like the others.
(k) Matt. 21:23 with Mark 11: 28 and Luke 20: 2. (Harm.
Matthew and Luke, την εξουσίαν ταύτην κ. τ. λ.; Mark adds iva taŭra nouns, and then proceeds as the others. In the next verses Matthew and Luke have xowrrow, and Mark επερωτήσω. .
(1) Matt. 24: 7 with Mark 13: 8 and Luke 21: 11. (Harın. p. 163.)
Matthew and Luke, έσονται λιμοί και λοιμοί; Mark, λιμοί και ταραχαί. .
(m) Matt. 24 : 29 with Mark 13: 25 and Luke 21 : 26. (Harm. p. 165.)
Matthew and Luke, αι δυνάμεις των ουρανών σαλευθήσονται; Mark, αι δυνάμεις αι εν τοις ουρανούς σαλευθήσονται.
But I withhold my hand. I have a number of other examples marked, the fruit of a few hours search, and of a like tenor with those produced above.
It is in vain for Mr. Norton to allege, in reply to these instances, that they are of little consequence as to the sense. I admit this most fully; and I must admit it, and so must he, in other innumerable cases of discrepancy as to diction between the different Evangelists. But the simple question is, whether, in case of coincidence as to matter between the first three Gospels, Matthew has always conformed to the diction of Mark in preference to that of Luke, where conformity to either, on his part, is at all exbibited. The result of the above examination is, that there is no correctness in the allegation that he has.
I will not say that Matthew in the case supposed, does not oftener agree with Mark than Luke, where the two latter differ from each other; but my examination has led me in some good measure to distrust even so much as this. It happened, I presume, to Bishop Marsh and Mr. Norton, that in their comparisons, pursued perhaps to quite a moderate extent, Matthew appeared to agree mostly, (Bishop Marsh says entirely), with Mark. But it is impossible to pursue this investigation to any great length, and yet retain the belief that such is the exclusive, or (I would even venture to say) the habitual fact. I have opened my Greek Harmony at random throughout ; and not one page have I any where examined, without finding facts to contradict the theory of Bishop Marsh and Mr. Norton. It is impossible for me to believe, therefore, that a more extensive examination still will not produce more overwhelming testimony against it.
One other sensation, or persuasion (if this be a better name), has been produced in a manner that I shall never forget ; and this is a deep and thorough feeling, that the discrepancies of style and manner of expression in the Evangelists so immeasurably exceed the identities, that there is not the least probability that they copied each other, or copied any common documents. These diversities, indeed, are not such as can well be presented on paper. They can be learned only by being seen and felt. The reader must take up his Greek Harmony, and spend a few hours in making the most minute comparisons ; and when he has done this, I think I can venture to say, that he never again will open bis ears to any charge of plagiarism, or of mere labour like that of copyists or redactors, made against the Evangelists. In the parts where the resemblance between them is strongest of all, the diversity is still such as to leave not the least doubt on my mind of composition original and independent.
The conviction that such is the case springs from the nature of the diversities in question. No earthly motive can be assigned for them, in case either or all of the writers were plagiarists or copyists. They are not corrections, nor emendations, nor addenda ; they concern neither the rhetoric nor the sense of the passages in which they stand. They are evidently the