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the resurrection, and must have had strong support in the teaching of Jesus himself, as the congenial Messianic beliefs of contemporary Judaism would hardly have been sufficient to start the opinion unless it had had some base in the authority of Christ. The history of early Christianity, as that is mirrored in the gospels, is in large measure the emancipation and transformation of this cardinal belief. Three forces were at work: (o) the natural process of disappointment, fostered by the lapse of time; (6) the logic of events, including the fall of Jerusalem and the gradual dethronement of Jewish particularism and materialism from the evangelic consciousness; (c) the influences of Hellenistic Judaism and the broader thoughts of the age, which in Paul and the fourth evangelist were able to spiritualise the primitive conception. These forces and factors are not independent of one another, and all go back to an element in the consciousness of Jesus which was only appreciated and developed several decades after his death. However, they are historical entities which orientate most effectively the period of the gospels' composition, and explain their birth. For "events," as Vinet has somewhere remarked, "are the real judges of events, and—purely moral questions excepted— history only gets itself written under their dictation.

In this connection it may be also observed that, while the phrase "Jesus above the head of his reporters" indicates a real truth of history, affording a correct standpoint from which to valuate the extant sources, it is apt, nevertheless, to convey a wrong impression. Jesus had no reporters. So far as his words have reached us, their existence is due to the keen and loving memory of his adherents. It is to attach a modern and quite a misleading idea to his life when we allow ourselves to think of him as surrounded like a philosophic lecturer by those who treasured up his words in view of future developments, to be authoritative for a com'mnnity, or to furnish by anticipation some guidance for a strange prospect ahead. Nothing was further from the thoughts of the primitive disciples, and it may be questioned how far even Jesus occupied such a standpoint of prevision. At any rate, anything like an immediate and tangible preservation of his sayings or deeds is historically incredible. Simple and informal, they rose from the wayside of his experience. Simply and informally they were remembered and repeated by his adherents. Their passage to us has all the charm and impressiveness of this natural process, and there is no need to crush it into mechanical supernatural methods which rob it of reality, in the vain attempt to increase its reliability. "Do not degrade the life and dialogues of Christ out of this charm, by insulation and peculiarity. Let them lie as they befell, alive and warm, part of human life, and of the landscape, and of the cheerful day." That is a true protest, truer than Emerson meant; for it applies to the subsequent transmission no less than to the original setting of the life of Jesus in the gospels.

Broadly speaking, we may say that two streams coloured the evangelic narratives. One contained the volume of practical interests and requirements germane to the growing church.1 The variety of the gospels proves

1 So far as regards Jesus, the historical interest of the early Christians was determined by the demands of faith, which centred upon three subjects: (a) the sufferings and death, (b) the notable actions and events of his life, (c) his teaching. The human birth and childhood forms only a secondary stage of interest (Matt-Lk), which is again transcended by the later growth of reflection (Jn l118) upon the pre-existence of the Christ. Of the three former topics, the passion probably formed the leading object of attention—to judge from the space assigned it in the synoptists, and the references in 1 Pet. and Hebrews. See further, Addenda.

that these were not altogether homogeneous; but they must have possessed common features which went far towards determining the conception of Christ preserved in the records. To the fact of these general practical requirements, of which our gospels are partly the precipitate, must be added the primary fact of the early Christian consciousness, namely, the sense that in the historical Jesus Messianic hopes and promises were fulfilled. To some degree this significance of Jesus is recognised in Paul, though it is not prominent His knowledge of, and interest in, the career and human character of Jesus represent quite an appreciable quantity, although they have been depreciated and exaggerated by various schools of criticism. Still there can be no doubt that other interests were unsatisfied. There was always the lingering tradition of the historical Jesus, and the parallel movement of Judaism back to OT prophecy probably intensified the passion—partly intuitive, partly born of the exigencies of controversy—for finding in him, from the evidence of his own words and deeds (Ac 2"), an actual and detailed fulfilment of the Messiah sketched in the OT. Among such vigorous convictions and creative tendencies the synoptic gospels were shaped (cp. Prof. Bendel Harris in Contemp. Review, August, 1895). The most objective writings 1 in the NT literature, they were not born in vacant space. Their antecedents are as obvious as their definite origin in the needs and ideas of the time with which they are in correspondence, and it is hardly possible to miss in each its birth-marks or heredity.

It is like trying to drink out a sea, said Goethe once, to enter into an historical and critical examination of the gospels. Eighty years of research have not sensibly abated this impression of complexity and intricacy in dealing with the synoptic problem. While enquiry has exhausted one or two lines of treatment, it has at the same time thrown open others wliich are still unsurveyed. Still it is possible out of the chaos of synoptic criticism to secure the following postulates, which not only are sufficient for the purposes of the present edition, but also command very wide recognition among competent and independent scholars. Taking the gospels in their present form, we note their

(A) Succession, (i.) The priority of Mark to the others is generally accepted: cp. Ritschl {Gesammelte AufsStze, pp. 1-57, Entstetiung, pp. 28, 34), Reuss, Renan, B. Weiss in his long series of critical monographs, Holtzmann (Einl. pp. 340-390, HC, i. Einleitung), Wendt (" Die Lehre Jesu " (1886), pp. 1-44), Havet (Origines, iv. pp. 225-296), Jacobsen (Untersuch. iiber die syn. Evv. 1883), E. A. Abbott (E.B., art. "Gospels," and in The Common Tradition, p. vi), Volkmar (Jesus Nazar. pp. 18-19, his date is exactly 73 A.D.), Carpenter (The First Three Gospels), Westcott (Introduction to Study of Gospels), Sanday (Smith's Diet. BK (1893), pp. 1222-1242), Massebieau (Examen des citations de I'ancien Testament dans I'e'vangile selon S. Matthieu), and Harnack (Chron.). There is a pretty lair agreement among scholars working along different lines, that" the common tradition upon which all the three synoptics were based is substantially our St. Mark, so far as matter, general form, and order are concerned" (F. H. Woods, Studia Biblica, vol. ii. p. 94). Compare Salmon, INT (lect. ix.); JUIicher, Einl. pp. 274f.; Pfleiderer's Urc.-p.360; Resch, TIT, x. l,ch.5; Bruce, ExGT, i. (1897); E. Roehrich, la Composition des Bvangiles

1 The objectivity varies: its maximum lies in Mark, the presentation of Matt, and Luke has been more influenced by other interests, while in the fourth gospel we have the minimum. Compare Westcott's remarks (Gospel of John, Introd. pp. liv-lv), on subjectivity in relation to the truthfulness of a narrator.

(1898) , pp. 1-28; Briggs, Messiah of Gospels, pp. 70-256; Du Buisson ("The origin and characteristics of Mark," 1896); Brandt, "die Evangelische Geschichte und der Ursprung des Christenthums" (1893), pp. 536f. ; A. J. Jolley, Tlie Synoptic Problem for English Readers; Rev. Sir J. C. Hawkins, Bart., in "Horae Synopticae" (1899); Dr. Coue, " Gospel Criticism " (1891), pp. 150-160; V. H. Stanton, DB, ii. article "Gospels"; Wernle, d. Synopt. Frage (1899); Soltau, Eine Liicke d. Synopt. Forschung

(1899); Adeney, BI, pp. 324 f.; Salmond, DB, iii. 258-260; and Dr. Cary, Iff, i. pp. xix-xxxiii,with Bacon (INT, 188 f.) and Schmiedel,£Bi,ii. 1847 f.

This judgment upon the priority of Mark is based chiefly upon the impression afforded by its contents. Editorial solicitude is less conspicuous here than in Matthew or Luke (cp. Mk 3J, omitted in Mt-Lk ; 35 per' 6pyrisl etc. etc.), as though the narrative of Christ's life still lay near to the life itself, and had not yet passed very deeply into the sphere of subsequent reflection, where religious interests and reverence itself naturally exercised an increasing control over editors and their materials. Less connected and complete, Mark's naive, fresh, and (compared with Mt and Lk) unconventional portrait of Jesus in all likelihood preceded the more conscious and polished attempts of the others to present Christianity as well as Christ. This is corroborated by his treatment of the chronology and his general disposition of the life, which is silently presupposed in the later synoptists. Mark's order, if placed between Matthew and Luke, shows at once that they had it before them, and freely amplified or rearranged its scheme to suit their own ideas. Their variations and divergences become intelligible when once its tradition is accepted as a common, prior outline of the biography. Apart from other indications,—e.g., the simpler, abrupt, unpremeditated form1 of several sayings (3s9 838 9"b""), and the treatment of the disciples (6slb-tJ 817"18 1035),—the priority of Mark is most decisively urged by the amount of material common to itself and to Mt-Lk. The distinctive contents of Mark are comparatively insignificant beside the matter shared by it with the later gospels, and of this feature only one explanation is feasible. That the realistic, graphic narrative of Mark was a later compilation, an abridgment or extracted essence of the others, formed in a slavish and piecemeal fashion, is so pointless and improbable a view, that it has been almost unanimouslydropped from serious criticism. The alternative is that it was from Mark the others borrowed, and that round the nucleus which each took from this primitive gospel, they gathered the larger and wider materials which have lent distinctiveness and weight to their own records. One interesting result of this is that the central current of evangelic tradition flows from a Petrine source; for there is a growing tendency upon all sides of criticism to credit and even emphasise the Papias-tradition which links Mark to Peter.2

Besides, the closest scrutiny of Mark fails to discover much cogent

1 On the realism of Mark, the prophetic picture of Matthew, and Luke's idealised sketch, cf. Bruce, With Open Face, cha. l.-iii.; on the fontal position of Mark, Blass, PG, 206-210; on its relation to the later scheme of Matthew, W. C. Allen, ExpTi, xi. pp. 279-284, Wernle, Synopt. Frage, pp. 127f., and Roehrich, la. Composition des Evangiles, pp. 58 f., 208 f. On Halevy's article in the Revue Simitique (April, 1900, pp. 115-149), "Notes sur l'evang. de S. Marc:" see below, Addenda.

2 J. F. Blair (The Apostolic Gospel, 1896) prefers to regard Mark as a primitive harmony. The apostolic source already existed in various versions, he conjectures, which have been combined in our second gospel. Similarly the fourth gospel is an elaborated commentary upon this source. He rejects the Papias-tradition of Mark's Petrine origin, but on insufficient grounds. See further, Abbott: KM, ii. 1811-1812.

evidence to prove the use of written sources, with the exception of the "small apocalyse " which has been incorporated in ch. xiii. The existence of an Ur-Marcus is unreasonably disputed; but that document, after all the ingenuity and hypothetical reconstructions which have gathered round it, remains a shadowy x in the synoptic problem. Despite argument from textual critics and literary analysts, our extant Mark is substantially a unity, in a sense that Matthew and Luke are not. They are composite works, dependent not merely upon Mark itself and the Logia, but also upon other sources which no longer exist. Mark is written from the best reminiscences of an eye-wituess, probably with little or nothing except oral tradition between it and the original facts. Whatever written sources have been used in our second gospel are of quite a subordinate character compared to the original mass of narrative; and any alterations made in it as a final recension of Mark's Petrine notes, do not form a substantial feature in the book. [EBi, ii. 1850-1852, somewhat otherwise.]

The conclusion, then, is that this gospel precedes the others, standing most nearly to the original tradition; and this estimate throws a clear light across almost all the phenomena of the writing. Its value and validity can be tested and justified only by a detailed comparison of the three documents with one another. Taken as a whole, Mark does not present traces of adaptation to church interests and feelings to nearly the same extent as these appear throughout Matthew and Luke. It is less of a compilation. It shares with Matthew and Luke the atmosphere of the second generation, charged with reflections and requirements, but one can feel the presence of a circle for which, perhaps also of an author for whom, these did not yet possess a very dominating importance in relation to the memoirs and conception of Jesus. At the same time it is to be freely admitted by the upholders of Mark's priority, that in several passages Matthew and Luke stand actually closer than Mark to the original tradition. The fact of Mark's priority in order of composition does not imply that the gospel contained an absolutely exact reproduction of the primitive narrative and sayings. On the contrary,'it is possible, and indeed almost certain, that some earlier portions of the tradition did not pass into writing (or at least into the extant writings) until subsequently to the publication of Mark. But this existence of secondary elements does not affect the priority of Mark,1 as a literary unity, to Matthew and Luke (J. Weiss, ThLz, 1897, 511-513; see his papers in SK, 1890-1802).

The relative priority of Mark depends especially upon the adoption of the 'Two-Sources' theory. At present this hypothesis has the wind in its sails, and may be said almost to have passed out of the rank and number

1 Two recent theories stand sadly apart from the main body of criticism. Zahn (Einl. ii. pp. 199-233), following Grotins, arranges the gospels thus: Matthew (Aramaic), Mark, Luke, Matthew (Greek). Mark has used Mt (Aram.), and has in turn been used by Mt (Gk.). The repeated difficulties in which so retrograde a theory involves its author will not yield even to the application of his dexterity and learning. Its three weakest points are, (a) that Matthew is a translation, (6) that Matthew could have been practically written by 62, and (c) that Mark is "nothing but a mosaicwork of older traditions, an abbreviation and summary of the first gospel. Godet, again (INT, ii. p. 208 f.), puts the composition of Matthew actually in the years 60-66. Both of these attempts betray reactionary movements to the old position (Matt., Mark, Luke), of which Hilgenfekl remains the chief upholder (see his "MarcosiaNovissima.'' ZwTh, 1899, pp. 481-607). Prof. Gilbert [Student's Life of Jesus, 1898, pp. 1-47), like Reville, holds that all three synoptists are independent of each other, though they used written sources; and Belser, writing from the Roman Catholic standpoint, gives two exhaustive essays (TQ, 1893, pp. 355-407; 1898, pp. 177-2-38), leaning of course to the conservative and traditional position.

of mere hypotheses. Upon this very convincing view, the basis of the synoptic gospels consists of two documents1 in the main, for both of which we have witness in the traditions of Papias. One (a) is a narrative of the life of Jesus, compiled by Mark from the reminiscences of Peter. The exact relation between this collection of anecdotes and sayings (as reported by Papias)2 and our extant gospel of Mark is not yet clear. The two are identified by some critics. Others believe themselves able to discern in Mark the outline of an Ur-Marcus, in which case the canonical gospel is a later expanded edition of the earlier materials. If this be rejected, it must be allowed that the gospel has been slightly altered since its use by the other synoptists. However, the main point is that for our knowledge of the events in the life of Jesus we are almost absolutely dependent upon a Petrine tradition. Along with this, but probably composed before it, lay (6) a collection of \6yia3 (chiefly, though not entirely, sayings of the Lord), originally edited in Aramaic by Matthew (see Appendix, below). This, in the form of a Greek translation, was known to Matthew and Luke, but there seems to be some reason for conjecturing that these evangelists did not have it before them in the same shape. Probably it had already passed through several recensions. It does not seem to be a necessary or even a probable conclusion—in spite of Jiilicher's (Einl. pp. 287-289) and Titius' arguments (ThSt, pp. 284-331), following in the wake of Weiss and Resch—that Mark made any extensive use of the Logia, although he may possibly have known them.

The genealogical relations between subsidiary sources and the extant gospels, upon this theory, may be exhibited thus: 0

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Amid all the minor diversities and niceties of opinion in regard to the number, character, and use of the various sources,—questions which lie outside our present purpose,—the priority of Mark to the other two

1 Compare the Jewish distinction between the Halacha (tradition of law and custom) and the Haggada (tradition of history). Also, an obvious but inadequate parallel exists in the case of Thucydidcs, who employed two sorts of material for his history, facts of speech (xiyu), and facts of action (Vy«). The Double-Source theory is substnntiallv based on the ideas of Schleiermacher, and a clear account of the criticism up to 1886 is given by Mangold (-Bleek, pp. 236-259). Add Schmiedel, EBi, ii. 1845 f.

a It has been seriously questioned, however, whether this reference of Papias is trustworthy, whether it refers merely to the absence of a historical framework such as is supplied in Luke and John, or whether it really applies to the present gospel of Mark. The latter is not the outcome of discourses, although its general tenor resembles a passage like Ac 10^ (Peter's description of Jesus); nor can much fault be found with its arrangement. Schmiedel's scepticism is quite unwarranted (tS., 1890 f.)

3 Exhaustively discussed by Wendt (pp. cit. pp. 44-191), Weiss (Das Matt/UtusEvglm. 1876), and Weizsaeker (Untersvdumgcn* Erster Theil; Zweiter Abschnitt), more briefly by Holtzmann, Einl. pp. 362-367, and Wernle (op. cit. pp. 80-91, 178

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