« AnteriorContinuar »
tacitly supersede or to implicitly supplement one another. They were written each to portray in a definite and self-consistent fashion the Lord Jesus Christ as a religious authority and a devotional source.
The tradition preserved by Irenaeus (Eus. HE, v. 8. 3), and entitled to some historical credit, places the composition of Mark's gospel after the death of Peter, from whose reminiscences (rà útò IIét pov knpvocóueva) it was largely composed. This gives 64-67 A.D. as a terminus a quo. At any time after this the book may have been written. The references in
Mark's form and setting of the “small apocalypse" do not absolutely in| volve, although they strongly point to (e.g. 1320), a retrospect of the horrors
attending the fall of Jerusalem. Otherwise there is no distinct clue, and the sole terminus ad quem is to be found in the dates of Matthew and Luke. Not earlier than 65, and not much, if at all, later than 75, one may conjecture that the gospel was composed. It is remarkable that the very feeling which had in earlier days rendered Christian literature superfluous—i.e. the expectation of Christ's immediate advent-should have actually come to be a chief motive in the composition of the primitive gospels. Yet such is the fact. Mark presupposes doubts in regard to Christ's return, which were to be implicitly answered by a proof that death formed a necessary stage in the process of his living Spirit. What argument (Hebrews) and vision (Apocalypse) afterwards undertook, Mark strove to accomplish by means of the evangelic history. He laboured to quicken the hope of the advent, which under the lapse of time and through the seeming contrariety of events had partially wavered. “Enthusiastic hope was” rekindled rather than “replaced by historic reverence” (Martineau, Essays and Addresses, iii. 39). At least, in the synoptic tradition from the first, an attempt was made in this direction. For it was an object of these early historians to state the reasonableness of the anticipation and to indicate its truth, against the stubborn facts of Jesus' death and the increasing lapse of time.
In other circles where the long delay of the parousia had been felt with equal severity (Mt 2448 255), the prophetic mission of the Messiah required to be exhibited as culminating in the relation of Jesus to the Christian community (cp. Burton, Biblical World, 1898, pp. 37–44, 91-101). Now that the external state of Judaism had gone (Mt 227), its legitimate successor was the reign of heaven, which in Matthew's gospel is heir to the prerogatives of the older revelation (e.g. 122). To Matthew the OT is the anticipation, not of contemporary Judaism, but of the Christianity which that Judaism banned and scorned. The author of
i Note the omission of Mark's characteristic cubias in 1324 (retained in Mt 2429).
2 It goes without saying that a large mass of Christ's teaching has been preserved in a form whose origin is evidently earlier than that of the synoptic gospels then:selves, or even of their sources. Certain phrases and conceptions of Jesus laid too strong a hold of the primitive disciples to permit of their being affected (to any serious degree) by later modes of thought and feeling ; and all literary criticism of the gospels as products of the apostolic church must allow for the creative originality of Jesus as a teacher, and his dominating personality. At the same time this does not exhaust the evidence of the gospels. For if these preserve features of a much earlier age which either lost their vogue or resisted alteration between 30 and 70 A.D., they as certainly reproduce some feelings and ideas which mainly sprang into life during the course of that interval. A distinctly retrospective element exists, even in Mark. The picture is partly a review. It looks back not merely to the actual life of Christ within the limit of his birth and death, but also to the effect and course of his Spirit in subsequent years among the Christian communities. The record is now and then permeated by interpretations, modifications, and applications which would have been anachronistic at the moment when the words were originally spoken.
this gospel is in fact the theologian 1 of the evangelists. He is familiar with OT prophecies, arranges his history so as to bring out with great aptness for his age the dogmatic principle of Christ's Messianic state, as that was foretold by the Scriptures, rejected by the Jews, and accepted by the Christians. Slight but significant in this connection are the frequent phrases occurring like a refrain, iva (or ws) anpwoîtò Andèy (útò Kuplov) dià Toû TT poontoù, “the Son of David,” ń Baoileia Tôv oupavāv, and the like. 2 Besides this interest, there lie upon the surface the pressing interests of the age in questions 3 of church-order and discipline (Mt 1815-18 1617. 18); it is not illegitimate to discover some significance in the quotation of parables (1324f. 38f.) which imply the heterogenous nature of the visible church, and it is more than singular that ékk ýola occurs in this gospel alone. The so-called “sermon on the mount" is plainly intended to be the Magna Charta of the new reign of God, visible and authoritative. Its place and contents point to its function as a statement of the new law for the new communities. Here and elsewhere throughout Matthew, the idea of the church, as Prof. Carpenter observes, “is in some sense present in the background much oftener than the term itself appears.” Traces of it probably appear in the regulations for discipline (c. 18) and baptism (c. 28), for which the sanction and authority of Jesus are duly claimed, and in which he is represented as the head of a settled organisation. To suppose that Jesus contemplated a visible church as the embodiment of his gospel is almost to be guilty of a historical atrocity; but both Matthew and Ac 1-5 concur in representing the early Christians as rapidly organising themselves into a community. This is a most significant fact, alike in its bearing on the temper and attitude of the people, and in its import as a presupposition for the growth of subsequent records of the Master; and the evidence of Paul corroborates the indirect allusions of Matthew to the organised body or bodies of primitive Christianity, as well as to the place which these occupied in the development of the evangelic tradition (1 Co 151-9). The salient features of this life are finely sketched by Harnack in Das Wesen des Christentums (1900), pp. 96-109.
1 Not in the sense that he is dominated by pro-Jewish tendencies. As Dr. Cone correctly points out, the kind of record preserved in Matthew is a natural and ) necessary result of the historical connection of Christianity with Judaism.”
2 Vide the use of 'Louddíos (2815) in the antagonistic sense of the term which is so frequent in the fourth gospel. Otherwise, the aim of the gospel represents simply a more developed form of that which dominates the gospel xo’’Espacious, “to exhibit Jesus as the Messiah sent from God, not as the Son of God conceived of the Holy Ghost in a special sense, but as the long-expected Messiah of David's race, in whom prophecy finds its fulfilment” (Handmann, TU, v. 3, p. 125). This is the primitive stage which Matthew and Luke transcend, but which lingered in some circles of belief.
3 Conipare in the later literature, also, the “liturgical” element in Lk 1, 2, Apoc, Pastorals (Eph.?), and the basis found for Christian worship (Jn 4:23), institutions, and ministry (2019f, Ac 1. 2), with the first prayer for the Roman Emperor (Clem. Rom. 61), etc. Wernle (ZNW, 1900, p. 63), following a hint of Sohm's, argues that even in the fourth gospel the absence of the word izxanovce is purely a superficial feature. - The Christocentric apology of the gospel is the apology of the church. Whenever the author speaks of Christ, faith, Spirit, truth, the word is spoken by the church. More churchly passages than 35 or 146 do not exist in any NT writing ; Ac 412 alone has similar traits." Upon the impulse towards organisation afforded by the crisis of 70 A.D., see Wellhausen, Prolegomena, pp. 539 f. As morality depends largely on institutions, and as the new religion found these lying to hand in Judaism and Hellenism alike, the question really is,--how soon did Christianity discover its independent need of such aids, and how far did it transform them for its own ends? For Paul's share and interest in this matter, see a fair staternent in Weinel's Paulus als Kirchliche Organizator, 1899.
The terminus a quo for dating Matthew is given partly by tradition, partly by the internal evidence of its dependence upon Mark. The notice of Papias (Euseb. HE, iii. 39. 16) that Matthew composed the Logia in Hebrew, leaves the date of this apostolic collection an open question ; but if Irenaeus (ibid. v. 8. 2)1 is to be trusted, it was written in the first half of the seventh decade. Weiss, incorrectly interpreting the Eusebian story that an oracle was granted to the primitive Jerusalem church, as an allusion to this Logia collection, instead of to the “ small apocalypse," dates it 67 A.D. This is rather late, however; and besides, the Logia were probably in existence some time before Mark wrote his gospel. A general terminus a quo for Matthew, therefore, is the seventh decade, when this collection which formed one of its bases was composed (c. 62 A.D. is the date suggested by Dr. G. L. Cary, IH, i. p. xxiii). The internal evidence carries us past the year 70; passages like 2744f. 227 1628 are decisive upon this, besides the use of Mark's gospel as one of its sources. The terminus ad quem is not to be fixed more definitely than the date of the fourth gospel, which rests upon the three synoptists. Unfortunately it is uncertain whether Matthew is used by Luke, but in any case it must have been written before the end of the first century. 3 Upon the whole, it may be regarded as nearer than Luke to Mark and the Logia, although occasionally greater exactness in reproducing the early tradition does not absolutely prove priority in order of composition. A fair range for its composition would be the period 75–90 A.D. That the gospel has come down to us with the traditional name of Matthew is due to the fact that in the early tradition Matthew appeared as the author of those Logia which were afterwards incorporated in the present gospel, gave it an important and distinctive feature, and were finally superseded by it. When the two came to be confused, the gospel being taken as a translation of the Logia, it was natural that Matthew's name should be retained for the larger work by an age which had already lost all direct knowledge of the gospel's literary history.
The indisputable fact that Luke presupposes the fall of Jerusalem (1943. 44 2121-24) is confirmed by the use made of Mark in his pages. From the prologue it is evident that the book followed a rich growth of evangelic narratives, which apparently did not satisfy Luke's standard of research and investigation. This points to a pretty advanced date,
1 Ματθαίος ... γραφήν εξήνεγκεν ευαγγελίου, του Πέτρου και του Παύλου έν Ρώμη ευαγγελιζομένων nxà Deuincourtwy Tan &xxa noidev. For wholly inconclusive reasons Resch dates the composition of Matthew's Logia shortly after the crucifixion (Die Logia Jesu, Nach dem griechischen und hebräischen Text wiederhergestellt, 1898). It is of course impossible to attach any weight to the statements found in some minuscule manuscripts that Mark was composed 10, Luke 15, and John 30 or 32 years after the ascension.
2 Cp. Wernle's remarks on the treatment of the miracles in Matthew and Mark respectively (op. cit. p. 158). To Matthew, as he points out, they are materials for proving the Messiahship of Jesus. To Mark they are also that, but very much more. He sees in them “not the embodiment of a principle, but a personality with the warmth of life. who bends to men as one of themselves in mercy and love. sorrow and anger. For Matthew the iniracles are mere cyphers, which added together make up a great number. For Mark they have individual worth.” The conclusion is, “Das Individuelle ist stets früher da, als die Verallgemeinerung; die Freude am Geschehris ist älter als der theologische Beweis. Gerade die zwei [731-37 822-267 von Mt übergangenen Wunder sind die jenigen, mit denen theologische Reflexion am wenigsten anfangen kann.”
3 If any weight could be attached to an interesting Syrian tradition quoted by Nestle (ZwTh, 1894, pp. 435-438), the question of the Star in the Greek text of Matthew (ch. 2) was being discussed widely by 120 A.D. Cp., however, Hilgenfeld (ibid. 1895, pp. 447 f.).
whether Matthew is included in these narratives or not. Also there are the use of ó kúplos for Christ, the incipient hymnology and legalism, the development of the resurrection-tradition, etc. Here, too (622 1211 2112), as in Matthew, traces exist of civil persecution, which would be quite apt in Domitian's reign i.e. any time after 90). But beyond such general limits, it is impossible to fix any period for the book's composition. The relations between it and Mark (possibly Matthew as well), apart from the advanced character of its theology (cp. the characteristic feeling of delay in Christ's advent, 187. 8 209) and conceptions, forbid us placing it before 80. On the other side, it was certainly composed before Acts and the fourth gospel, some time during the last quarter of the first century, when Gentile Christianity (kalpoi è Ovôv, 2124) was being steadily diffused throughout the Roman Empire. Between the author and the life of Jesus lie not only the first witnesses (aŭtórtai kai útrpétai), but also a numerous circle of writers who preceded him in the attempt to compose a narrative of the Christian facts. The author of the third gospel, then, belongs to the epigoni. He is of the second or third generation, living in an age when the chief materials for a life of Jesus consisted of written sources. Apart from these, he was dependent upon oral reminiscence and hearsay ; it scarcely required second-century tradition to point out his distance from the historical origin of the faith (Murat. Can.“ Dominum nec ipse vidit in carne").
In the third gospel (as in the book of Acts) there is an exceptional care to trace the developinents of the new religion in its disentanglement from Judaism (Lk 2124, kalpoà ¢Ovôv) 4 and expansion into the Roman Empire. This gospel is even more distinctively featured than the others. The
1 The literary relationship between Luke, Acts, and Josephus (especially in the Antiquities, composed 93-94 A.D.) is a vexed question (see below, on Acts). If the resemblances involve the dependence of one writer on the other, it is more probable that Luke used Josephus than vice versa, though it is quite reasonable to conjecture that both may have used the same sources, or even to deny that the resemblances are anything more than coincidences. The bearing of the question is greater upon Acts than upon the third gospel ; while the dependence of the latter on Josephus' Antiquities cannot be securely proved, the former might be with more reason conjectured to have a fairly direct relationship (Wendt admits it especially in 5367.) with the Jewish History. Yet the discrepancy e.g., between their accounts of Herod Agrippa's death, seems an insuperable difficulty, and the use of common ideas and idioms goes far to explain most of the coincidences (see particularly the careful proof by Belser, TQ, 1895, pp. 634-662, 1896, pp. 1-78). Apart from the older criticism of Overbeck, Hausrath, Keim, and Renan, the dependence of Luke on Josephus has been urged especially by Holtzmann (ZwTh (1877), p. 535 f., ibid. (1880), p. 121 f., and Krenkel (Jos. U. "Lucas, 1894); cp. also an article in Fortnightly Review (1877), pp. 485-509 ; Jüngst (quellen d. Apgeschichte, p. 201 f.)); Schmiedel (ZSchz, 1898, p. 46, EBi, i. 49), and Clemen. Against the theory, Schirer (ZwTh, 1876, pp. 574 f.), Nösgen (SK, 1879, p. 221), Bousset (Th Lz, 1895, p. 391), Headlam (DB, i. art. “ Acts”), Bebb (DB, iii. 168), besides Schanz (Comm. Luc. p. 16), Gloël (die jüngste Kritik d. Galat. p. 64 f.), Adeney, (BI, pp. 343, 344), Zahn (Einl. ii. 394-418), and of course-by implication—writers like Harnack, McGiffert, and Ramsay (cp. Zeller, Overbeck-Zeller, ii. 310).
2 For a note on these, cp. Appendix : on Lk 1-2.
3 Cp. Weiss, NTTh, ii. pp. 291-296. The development is somewhat protracted. It must embrace an interval during which the erroneous identification of Christ's coming with the fall of Jerusalem had to be reluctantly abandoned.
4 The Luke of the NT (Col 414) is a Gentile Christian. The genealogy of the third gospel reaching back to Adam, not to Abraham (as Matt.), witnesses to the “Catholic” tendency, which in this case is identified with the aim at a “complete" (12) account of Jesus. Adam is the human, as opposed to Abraham the national, ancestor ; but he is also the actual root of the subsequent pedigree. On Luke and the Roman world, cp. Ramsay, Was Christ born at Bethlehem? (1898) pp. 49-72.
characteristics, e.g. commonly known as its “Paulinism” and “Ebionitism,” represent quite definite traits, but how far these rather eclectic elements are to be referred to the conscious individuality of the author, and how far to the circle of feelings and ideas in which he moved and for which he wrote, is another problem. One motive, however, is fairly plain. The work of his contemporary, Josephus, was devoted to removing as far as possible the anti-Semite prejudice which had been accentuated in many Roman circles by the outbreak of 66–70 A.D. The two volumes from a Christian pen which we now know as the third gospel and Acts had a similar object. They strove to allay the unfavourable impression produced in the same circles, not merely by the unpopularity and troublesomeness of Christians throughout the empire, but also by the malice of their co-religionists, the Jews. That some such idea was in the mind of the author cannot reasonably be doubted.
As the remarkable coincidences between Lk 11.4 and the medical writings of Dioskorides (of Anazarbus), cp. Lagarde (Psalt. juxta Hebr. Hieronymi, p. 165 f., Mittheilungen, 3, p. 55 f.), J. Weiss (-Meyer's Luke, ad loc.), and Zahn (Einl. ii. p. 384), of whom the last named lays greater stress upon Luke's use of Hippokrates.
(B) Date of composition. — The wide differences of opinion which still exist in regard to this point of the synoptic problem can be most easily exhibited in a table. The terminus a quo for the composition of the three gospels may be taken as c. 70 A.D. The opposite limit falls c. 100 A.D., or even later. It is brave rather than accurate to declare that the prevalent view upon the whole is that “our gospels as we have them were written within the decade 71-80 A.D.” (Sanday, Exp.4 iii. 345, following Wright). For Matthew, e.g., Hausrath, W. Brückner, and Renan will not come down earlier than the Flavian régime;2 Volkmar and Pfleiderer 3 put it
1 Another slightly different aspect of the question is offered by the theory which is disposed to discover these variations chiefly in the Jewish-Christian sources which already lay before Luke, modelled as they were by previous tradition (so Feine, Eine vorkanonische Weberlieferung d. Lukas, 1891; and similarly J. Weiss in Meyer 8). This would reduce Luke's initiative and make his variations due less to contemporary reflections or personal bias than to the reproduction of primitive tendencies. Jüngst, again (SK, 1896, pp. 215-244), is quite unable to find distinctively Pauline or theological prepossessions in the third gospel. Its author is “ein ziemlich farblöser Bearbeiter seiner (wesentlich judenchristlichen) Quellen,” and Resch is even more extravagant (Aussercanonische Paralleltexte, TU, x. 3, p. 847): “Lukas ist der tendenzlose, lediglich und treulich auf seine Quellen sich stützende Historiograph der NT.” Ramsay's parallel estimate (SPT, pp. 14 f.) does not seem to be justified even by his own interpretation of those portions of Acts (and they are the strongest) which he selects for discussion; apart altogether from the fact that any such estimate ought in all fairness to start from a work like the third gospel, where we have the opportunity of comparing Luke with other writers of the same class who used to some extent the same materials. At any rate, Luke's historical rank is nearer that of Livy than of Thucydides, and nothing operates so mischievously in literary research as an exaggerated estimate of some individual author. It simply provokes a depreciation which falls into the same pit of injustice. Norden, Das Antike Kunstprosa, pp. 480-492, rightly pronounces quite an encomium upon Luke's style, in comparison with that of the other synoptists. Cp. also above, p. 32.
2 Réville, i. pp. 282-360, dates the gospels between 98 and 117 A.D., the editing of the Logia before 70, the Proto-Mark 70-75, and the fourth gospel 130-140. Similarly Paul (die Abfassungszeit d. Synopt. Evglien, 1887), arguing from the evidence of Justin Martyr, dates the final redaction of all four gospels between 130 and 150 A.D.
3 Pfleiderer's latest results are: Mark, possibly before the fall of Jerusalem, and at any rate not long after the death of Paul (Urc. 414-416); Luke, written in Trajan's reign, about the opening of the second century (ibid. 542-543); Matthew, about the second or third decade of the second century.