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11 Now Jesus stood before the procurator, and the procurator questioned him, "Art thou the king of the Jews?" Jesus said to him,

12 "Certainly." But while he was being accused by the high priests and

13 elders, he made no answer. Then Pilate says to him, "Hearest thou not

14 how grave their evidence is against thee?" Yet to the procurator's

15 great wonder he made no reply to him, not even a single word. Now at festival time the procurator was accustomed to release for the crowd

16 any one prisoner whom they chose. At that time they had a notorious

17 prisoner called Bar-Abbas ; so when they had met, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you wish me to release for you? Bar-Abbas, or Jesus who is

18 called 'Christ'?" (For he knew it was for envy that they had delivered

19 him up. Also, when he was sitting on the tribunal, his wife had sent to say to him, "Have nothing to do with that innocent man ; for I have

20 suffered much to-day in a dream, on his account.") But the high priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Bar-Abbas and have Jesus

21 destroyed. The procurator answered and said to them, " Which of the two will you have me release for you 1" They said, "Bar-Abbas."

22 Pilate says to them, "Then what am I to do with Jesus who is called

23 'Christ' 1" They all sav, "Let him be crucified." And he said, "Why, what evil has he done 1" But they kept vehemently shouting,

24 " Let him be crucified." So when Pilate saw he was doing no good, but on the contrary that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd; "I am innocent of this blood," he said; "it

25 is your concern!" And all the people answered and said, "His blood

26 be upon us and upon our children!" Then he released for them BarAbbas; but after scourging Jesus, he delivered him up to be crucified.

27 Then the soldiers of the procurator took Jesus into the praetorium

28 and gathered the whole cohort to him. And after stripping him, they put

29 a scarlet mantle round him. And plaiting a wreath out of some thorns, they put it on his head, with a reed in nis right hand; and kneeling down before him they mocked him, saying, " Hail, king of the Jews!"

30 And they spat on him, and taking the reed they kept striking him

31 on the head. Then after their mockery of him, they stripped the mantle off him and put his own garments upon him ; and they led him

32 away to be crucified. Now as they were going out, they came upon a Cyrenian named Simon; this man they forced to carry his cross.

33 Then coming to a place called Golgotha (which means, "The place of a 34*skull") they offered nim wine to drink with a bitter mixture; but after

35 tasting it, he would not drink it. Now when they had crucified him,

36 they distributed his garments among them by casting lots, and sitting down

37 they kept watch there over him. And over his head they put the charge against him in writing, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38 Then along with him two robbers are crucified, one on the right hand

39 and one on the left. And the passers-by heaped abuse on him, wagging

40 their heads and saying, " Thou who wouldst break down the sanctuary and build it in three days, save thyself! If thou art God's son, come down

41 from the cross!" Similarly, the high priests also mocked him, with the

42 scribes and the elders, saying, "Others he saved, himself he cannot save! He is 'the king of Israel'! Let him come down now from the cross, and

43 we will believe upon him! He puts his trust in God: let God rescue him

44 now, if he cares for him. For he said, ' I am God's son.'" And even the robbers who were crucified along with him, denounced him in the same fashion.

45 Now from the sixth hour a darkness covered all the land till

46 the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "Elei, elei, lema sabachthanei ?" (that is, "0 my God,

47 0 my God, why hast thou forsaken me? ") And on hearing it some of the

48 bystanders there said, "He is calling Elijah." Then immediately one of them ran, took and filled a sponge with vinegar, put it on a reed,

49 and offered him it to drink. The rest said, " Hold, let us see if Elijah does come to save him." [[But another took a lance and pierced his side, and

50 out came water and blood?]]l Then once more Jesus cried out with a loud

51 voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold! the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth shook, the rocks were torn

52 apart, the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had

53 fallen asleep rose—and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection,

54 they entered the holy city and appeared to many people. Now when the centurion and his companions who were watching Jesus saw the earthquake and what took place, they were exceedingly afraid, and said,

55 "This man was certainly a son of God 1" And many women were there looking on from a distance—women who had followed Jesus from Galilee,

56 ministering to him. Among them was Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

57 Now when it was evening, a rich man from Arimathaea named Joseph

58 came, who also was himself a disciple of Christ. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given up.

59, 60 And Joseph took the body, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out in the rock; then, after rolling a large stone to the entrance of the tomb, he went away.

61 Now Mary of Magdala was there with the other Mary, sitting opposite the

62 sepulchre. On the next day (that is, the day after the Prepara

63 tion) the high priests and the Pharisees gathered to Pilate and said, "Sir, we have remembered that when this impostor was still alive, he said,

64 'After three days I rise.' Give orders then to have the sepulchre secured until the third day; in case the disciples coine and steal him away, and say to the people, 'He rose from the dead.' And so the last fraud will

65 be worse than the first?" Pilate said to them, "Take a guard and

66 begone 1 Secure it yourselves, as you know how." So they went in company with the guard, and secured the sepulchre by sealing the stone.

28 1 Now at the close of the sabbath-day, as it was just dawning to the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala went with the other Mary to se»

2 the sepulchre. And behold, a great earthquake took place; for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and went and rolled away the stone

3 and sat on it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white

4 like snow; and for fear of him the watchers shook and became like dead

5 men. But the angel addressed the women, saying, "Be not you afraid!

6 I know you are seeking Jesus, the crucified. He is not here, for he

7 has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, he has risen from the dead; and lo, he goes before you into Galilee; you shall see him there. Lo, I have told

8 you." Then they went away quickly from the tomb with fear and great

9 joy, and ran to bring word to his disciples. [And behold, Jesus met them, saying, " Hail! and they went to him, caught hold of his feet, and

10 did him reverence. Then Jesus says to them, "Be not afraid. Go your way; bring word to my brothers to go away into Galilee, and they shall

11 see me there."] Now while they were going, behold some of the

1 Adding [[«AA#f it \m0mr liyxr<* *>"{*» *irtv rr,t trilvfmr, xtti il',>Jk> Cittf Mui ctiuxjj.

guard went into the city and brought word to the high priests of all

12 that had taken place. And after meeting with the elders and taking

13 counsel, they gave a considerable sum of money to the soldiers, telling them, "Say 'his disciples came at night and stole him when we were

14 asleep.' And should this matter come before the procurator, we will

15 satisfy him and clear you of any trouble." So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been disseminated among the Jews, down to the present day.

16 Now the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain where

17 Jesus had appointed them. And on seeing him they did him reverence;

18 but some doubted. And Jesus came and talked to them, saying,

"All authority has been given to me in heaven and upon earth;

19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations,

Baptize them into the name of the Father and the Son and the holy Spirit,

20 Teach them to observe all that ever I commanded you.

And lo, I myself am with you all the days until the close of the age 1"


Like its successor Acts, Hebrews is an implicit apology for Christianity. Only, there is this difference between them. The apologetic element in the former is principallyl concerned with the outward relationship of the Christian faith (cp. Holtzmann, Das NT u. der Romische Stoat, 1892, p. 13 f.) to the Roman Empire. Hebrews is directly a word of encouragement (132!) for those inside the church; it forms an attempt to emphasise the sufficiency and finality of Christianity for those who accept Christ, not a demonstration of its political innocence. Both books were written primarily to instruct and edify their age. But while the method of Acts is historical and retrospective, Hebrews is speculative and theological. Luke and Acts establish the certainty of the faith by exhibiting its

frowth in Jesus and its development into the expanded sphere of the Impire. The author of Hebrews proves Christianity to be the ultimate religion, by means of a long series of comparisons drawn between it and the religion from which it sprang. His training leads him to use the religious authority common to himself and his readers—the OT—and to interpret this on Alexandrian principles of symbolism and typology. Hence the impression of remoteness in his treatment of the religious situation of Christendom within the Empire as compared with Acts, and especially with the Apocalypse. This author does not deal with the Temple and the Jews as they lived. His view is directed to the ideal tabernacle and the Levitical services as these exist in the LXX. He and his readers are citizens of Jerusalem, but it is the Jerusalem in heaven. He and they await the crisis and end of the age; but it is no outcome of a Roman campaign, it is the act of God in fulfilment of older prophecy (Jer 31311), when the new covenant is introduced. The book reflects a situation of trial, especially in the Roman church, but the attitude to Domitian is more akin to that of Clem. Rom. than to that of the Apocalypse; for the character of the author and the object of the writing alike prevent the political situation from becoming an absorbing feature of thought. Before transcendentalism, political and social colours pale. Even the later "First Epistle of John" is as silent upon the outer relations of the churches under Trajan, as the Religio Medici upon the Star Chamber and the fortunes of the Huguenots.

The very breath of Hebrews is antagonism to a retrograde movement within the circle of Roman Christians to which it was probably addressed. Behind the letter we can feel a tendency on the part of timid and disheartened members to abandon the Christian faith under stress of

1 Though in Acts also there is aii implicit apology directed to contemporary Judaism. The author strove to demonstrate that Christianity was the legitimate heir to the Jewish law and its promises. He, had before him a Jewish propaganda (Ac 1521) which attempted to jealously dispute that claim, and in view of this he aimed at showing how Gentile Christianity had come from the heart and centre of Judaism by a natural and unforced development.

contemporary trial. This is aggravated by the length of time which has elapsed since the conversion of the readers—a period which has dimmed the first brightness of their faith without producing a mature and intelligent experience. Mental seriousness1 ana moral stability are two qualities in which these people are found sadly deficient. Coupled also with the external trial and internal sluggishness, there is an element of strain existing between the readers and their church authorities. It is these considerations rather than any mere outward features, which characterise the writing.

The terminus ad quern for the date of Hebrews is fixed by the epistle of Clemens Rom. in which it is certainly and copiously used (Euseb. HE,

3. 38, rrjs npos 'EjSpa/ovr 7roXXa voi)para napadeis, rj8r} 8e xai avroXf^el pr/Tois e'f avrrjs xpi/cra/ievor). As this epistle was composed c. 97 A.D., Hebrews cannot be much later than 94-95; and probably it was in existence considerably before that time. The exact terminm a quo, however, is much more difficult to fix. It is certain that the writing presupposes an acquaintance with the Pauline epistles2; its indebtedness to Galatians, 1 Corinthians, and (especially) Romans lies on the surface, and as close—■ in spite of divergent aims and standpoints—is its connection with Ephesians 8 in conceptions and phraseology. A similar series of affinities exists between 1 Peter* and Hebrews; but here, as in the case of Ephesians, the explanation of these is uncertain. If Ephesians is authentic, it was used by the author of Hebrews. If 1 Peter is authentic, on the other hand, its use in Hebrews is possible, its similarity of atmosphere indubitable. The latter may be due to the fact that both writings are coloured by an independent use of Ephesians. The net result of these lines of criticism, however, is merely to establish the post-Pauline date of Hebrews, and at the same time to exhibit its affinities with two writings which upon other grounds are often relegated to a much later date. The latter hint is corroborated by the distinct connection of Hebrews with the group LukeActs (cp. the excellent table in Simcox: Writers of NT, Appendix I. Table 2; also Exp.3 viii. pp. 184-190), which has even suggested the Lucan authorship of the epistle (Delitzsch). The similarities are to be most reasonably explained by the hypothesis that all three writings are neighbours in spirit and practically contemporaries in age. Other coincidences, between Hebrews and later works like the Apocalypse, the Pastorals, and James, are too infrequent and subordinate to be decisive on the question of the date.

1 cf. 2" 5"-6312»-» * 1322. «i9 there a Christ? Is He the Heir of all things? Was He made flesh? Did He offer the all-perfect sacrifice? Did He supersede the old order of priests? Is He the mediator of a new and better Covenant? What

are the terms of that Covenant? There are no questions like these I am

astonished at the imperative tone of this Epistle, and the element of holy scorn against those who refuse to go into these great questions carefully" (James Smetham's Letters, p. 170).

2 Evidence stated in, EM. pp. 298, 299; Bruckner, Ckron. pp. 236-241. The whole cast and temper of the writer's thought, along with an incidental allusion like that in 1323, indicates a connection with the Pauline circle.

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itfjut xati eocpl, kypwriuit xpttvyti, uTtptitu, lie m-rtXvrpvrti, atari fj>'.\koiv, rptffapei xxi Burict, /9«/Aii {of God), rmppirim, etc.

* The relative priority of Hebrews, which is largely held, is not certain upon the grounds of mere literary criticism (cp. Usteri's ed. of 1 Peter, pp. 298-300, and von Soden, UC, in. 2, pp. 3, 4). Tho probable priority of 1 Peter to James also tells strongly against it.

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