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synoptic gospels is advocated with practical unanimity. It is still hotly disputed, however, whether Luke knew Matthew or made independent use of the rarrative-source (a)=Mark, whether Matthew had access to any sources 1 besides Q and Mark, and finally, whether Mark was acquainted with the Logia. These controversies hardly affect the respective dates or order of the gospels. The cardinal point for their criticism is the fact that Matthew and Luke go back to the two written (Gk.) sources, that both have used for their own purposes the order and content of Mark's narrative, combining with it selections from Q and additions of their own, that Matthew especially has preserved particularistic sayings of Jesus froin the Jewish-Christian Logia Qmt (517-20 105-6 1023 233), though his own standpoint is universalistic (“Son ouvrage est un de form et divers de fond”: Réville), that Luke has exercised greater freedom in dealing with the narrative than with the sayings of his sources, and that -especially in the polemic of Jesus against the Pharisees—there are traces that Matthew lies closer than Luke to the original tradition.
Upon this last point, however, there is division of opinion. While the priority of Mark to the other gospels is put beyond dispute by the TwoSources theory, (ii.), it is another matter when the relative priority of Matthew and Luke is in debate. Here the majority of the above-named critics are in favour of Matthew's priority, but the arguments are no longer of the same weight and decisiveness. The priority of Matthew is defended (a) by those who who find traces of its use in Luke. This dependence is ably maintained by E. Simons (Hat der dritte Evangelist den kanonischen Matthäus benutzt ? 1880), whose main results are tabulated in ZSchz (1884), 144-145, Scholten (das paulinische Evangelium, 1881), Jacobsen (Untersuchungen über die synoptischen Evglien, 1883, andespecially against Pfleiderer-Zw Th, 1890, pp. 180-185), Mangold (-Bleek), Holtzmann (Einl. pp. 356–357), besides Wendt (LJ, i. pp. 206 f.), Weizsäcker, P. Ewald, and Wittichen (Jpth, 1881, pp. 366 f., 713f., 1891, pp. 481 f.). Cp., however, Schläger (SK, 1896, pp. 83-93) and von Soden (ThA, 114-115). The divergences of Luke from Matthew are on this hypothesis explained by the supposition that his use of Matthew was not systematic or extensive. In fact the latter was merely a subsidiary source : Luke neglected or forgot it frequently. The strength of the theory, on the other hand, lies in the series of places where Matthew and Luke agree as against Mark. Unless these represent the use of an Ur-Marcus-i.e. unless they preserve fragments of a primitive source which is not altogether extant in our Second Gospel-it is difficult to account for them except on the hypothesis of a literary connection between Matthew and Luke.
This theory, however, is not without its difficulties (cp. W. Brückner, PM, 1899, pp. 109-110), and has met with serious opposition. It is therefore to be noted that the priority of Matthew to Luke is not absolutely dependent upon the hypothesis that the latter used the former. Both (0) may be held to be independent gospels (e.g. Roehrich, op. cit. pp. 179– 188, 224-233). Wilkinson (Four Lectures on the Early History of the Gospels, 1898) defines it as a "naïve, simple narrative thrown together in a curiously unliterary way, and recounting, now in the person of one apostle, now in that of another, the history and, more particularly, the inspired utterances of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Whatever historical element may lie in the narratives of the infancy and resurrection-to say nothing of Luke's Peraean section, and several other passages in Matthew and Luke of a divergent or isolated nature-can be defended only on the hypothesis of separate sources. For evidently these could not have existed in Mark or in the Logia, which these later gospels used. For a recent English application of the historical method to these narratives, cp. Dr. G. L. Cary's notes in II, i. pp. 1-44. 184), resting upon Mark and the Logia as their common sources, and yet using these in different ways. In this case, the priority of Matthew has to be proved from a comparison of its contents with those of Luke, and of the relation in which both stand to the Grundschrift. Along this line of reasoning (so Jülicher, Abbott, and Bacon) the arguments are purely internal, but-as it seems to the present editor-they are upon the whole in favour of the theory that Matthew's temper and spirit reflect a slightly earlier stage of the evangelic tradition and church-development than is portrayed in the ampler pages of Luke. In favour of this conclusion though upon very different critical bases—may be adduced scholars like Holsten, Keim (i. pp. 67–115), and Hilgenfeld (ZwTh, 1897, pp. 411-432), who date Matthew prior not merely to Luke but to Mark."
At the same time it must be allowed that Matthew contains elements which may reasonably be held to imply a more mature stage for the whole writing than that indicated in Luke; and these elements are regarded as decisive by many good critics, including Westcott (Introd. Gospels, pp. 209-210), Volkmar Jesus Nazarenus, 1882), Pfleiderer (Urc. p. 416 f.), Carpenter (op. cit. pp. 332–335, 377–379), J. Weiss (-Meyer's Luke, 1892, pp. 275-277), McGiffert (AA, p. 577), Soltau (op. cit.), von Soden and Wernle (op. cit. p. 40 f. and passim). This tendency, in ancient as well as in modern times, has been partly due to the fact that scholars wished to save the one gospel from the derogatory position of being criticised and superseded by the other, particularly when the former was regarded as the composition of an apostle. But Matthew was certainly not written by the disciple of that name ; and even if it had been, no special sanctity was attached to the early evangelic narrative at first. Nor does the prior date of Matthew necessarily imply even Luke's use of it. Upon the whole, it seems truer to the complete impression of Matthew to regard those elements which are secondary (as compared to Luke) pretty much as we regard the secondary features in Mark. Instead of being reckoned adverse to the earlier origin of the gospel in question, they should be taken as indications that the problem is more complex and combines more numerous and delicate threads than might be supposed at a superficial glance. At most they leave the question of priority open.
As for the divergences and distinctive characteristics of the gospels, it may be pointed out that estimates of a character vary with the observer's power and opportunities of appreciation ; all the more so, as nothing in the world is so complex and many-sided as a great human soul. But this is not the main reason for the variations of the synoptic gospels. They are not independent or direct biographies of Jesus. They depend, if not on one another, at least upon a common basis of tradition, and their varieties of interpretation are chiefly due to those manifold interests in the Christian consciousness which had to be justified and satisfied in the historical Jesus. It was not the original function of the gospels to
1 Especially in eschatology. “The precautions are unmistakable which he (Luke) takes to remove the Parousia of Christ further than Matthew, to separate it from the judicial punishment of Jerusalem, and to make it commence only a considerable time after that event,” Zeller-Overbeck, ii. pp. 271-272.
? The fact that all three presuppose an audience and a certain familiarity with the evangelic tradition is incidentally proved by passages, e.g., like Mark 1521, where Alexander and Rufus (as in 116, Simon) are evidently mentioned without comment nown to the circle for which the
the circle for which the gospel was written. Compare the first mention also of Judas (Mk 319, Mt 10') and Mary (Jn 112), who are referred to in connection with incidents which are only narrated at a later stage. Such anticipa. tions point to acquaintance with an oral or written tradition.
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 úno IIét pou 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 involve, 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 evoi wo in 1324 (retained in Mt 2420).
? 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 themselves, or even of their sources. Certain phrases and conceptions of Jesus laid too strong a hold of the primitive disciples to permit of
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 spokeu.
this gospel is in fact the theologian of the evangelists. He is familiar
1 Not in the sense that he is dominated by pro-Jewish tendencies. As Dr. Cone corr
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 'loudníos (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 xeb''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 Compare in the later literature, also, the “liturgical” element in Lk 1, 2, Apoc, Pastorals (Eph. ?), and the basis found for Christian worship (Jn 423), institutions, and ministry (2019, Ac 1, 2), with the first prayer for the Roman Emperor (Clem. Rom. 61), etc. Wernle (ZŃW, 1900, p. 63), following a hint of Sohm, argues that even in the fourth gospel the absence of the word inayoin 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 writings Ac 412 alone has similar traits." Upon the impulse towards organisation afforded b the crisis of 70 A.D., see Wellhausen, Prolegomena, pp. 539 f. As morality depen the largely on institutions, and as the new religion found these lying to hand in Judai the and Hellenism alike, the question really is,-how soon did Christianity discoveriete” independent need of such aids, and how far did it transform them for its ional, ends? For Paul's share and interest in this matter, see a fair stateinent in Wee and Paulus als Kirchlicher Organizator, 1899.
its own inel's
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) ? 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 2448 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 και θεμιλιούντων την εκκλησίαν. 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 miracles 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 Geschehnis ist älter als der theologische Beweis. Gerade die zwei [731-37 822-26] von Mt übergangenen Wunder sind die jenigen, mit denen theologische Reflexion am wenigsten anfangen kann." See also Beyschlag, NTTh, ii. 478.
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. 417 f.), and Schmiedel, EBi, ii. 1892–3, with Bacon, INT, 39.