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in connection with the national expectation of the Messiah. This revelation, attested by various forms of divine witness-bearing, and expressed in the language of many symbols, may be said to reach a climax in the twelfth chapter : “ These things spake Jesus, and he departed and hid himself from them. But though he had done so many signs before them, yet they believed not on him.”3 The remainder of the book depicts, on the one hand, the downward course of the world's unbelief leading to the crucifixion, and on the other, the perfecting of the disciples' faith, which attains its final and typical expression in the slowlymatured but deep-rooted confession of the doubting Thomas, "My Lord and my God.” 4
As already indicated, the fourth Gospel contains very few incidents of the ministry in Galilee. In this respect, as well as in many of its unexplained allusions and remarkable omissions, it takes for granted acquaintance with the earlier Gospels. The matter it contains in common
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1 Westcott enumerates seven, viz. (1) the witness of the Father (v. 34, 37; viii. 18); (2) the witness of the Son (viii. 14; xviii. 37); (3) the witness of His works (x. 25; v. 36, &c.); (4) the witness of Scripture (v. 39-46); (5) the witness of the Forerunner (i. 7; V. 33); (6) the witness of the disciples (xv. 27; xix. 35); and (7) the witness of the Spirit (xv. 26 ; xvi. 14).
2 Also seven in number, viz. !"I am”), “the bread of life,
“ the light of the world,” “the door of the sheep,” “the good shepherd,” “the resurrection and the life, vine" (Farrar).
3 xii. 36-40. The habitual use of the word “signs” (onueia) or works (épra)-instead of mighty works (δυνάμεις) or “wonders” (τέρατα)-to describe Christ's miracles, is characteristic of the Fourth Gospel. The first name indicates (what the evangelist in several instances expressly brings out; vi. 48; ix. 39) that “what the Lord did corporeally He desired to be understood spiritually" (Augustine); the second represents a miracle as but the exercise and manifestation of an indwelling Divine power (x 37, 38).
4 xx. 28. Other confessions of faith (in less degree) are peculiar to this Gospel, e.g. i. 29:
“Behold the Lamb of God” (Baptist); i. 41: “We have found the Messiah” (Andrew); i. 49: “Rabbi, thou art the Son of God” (Nathanael); vii. 46: “Never man so spake" (officers); ix. 38: “Lord, I believe” (blind man); xi. 27: “I have believed that thou art the Christ, the Son of God” (Martha).
5 Many long intervals are passed over; e.g. between the feast of the Passover (vi. 4) and the feast of Tabernacles (vii. 2), during which time the evangelist expressly mentions that “ Jesus walked in Galilee." Cf. i. 14: And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us although the miraculous birth is not recorded. i. 32: “And John bare witness, saying, I have beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven; and it abode upon him,"—although Christ's baptism is not recorded. i. 40: “One of the two that heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother,"--although the latter is not previously mentioned. iii. 5: “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and the
with the three other Gospels is very limited in extent, but of the most profound significance, viz., the Miraculous Feeding of the Multitude, and the Death and Resurrection of Christ. A crucified and risen Saviour who can say of Himself, “I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall not hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,” 1 this is the essence of the four Gospels, as it is the essence of Christianity symbolised in the Lord's Supper; and the final object of the whole New Testament is summed up by the last of the apostles when he says, “These are written, that ye may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that, believing, ye may have life in his name." 2
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom
tain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, of the village of Mary and her sister Martha,”—although no such persons as Mary and Martha have yet been mentioned, (probably with reference to Luke x. 38-42). vii. 41, 42:
“ Others said, This is the Christ.
But some said, What, doth the Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said that the Christ cometh of the seed of David, and from Bethlehem, the village where David was?”; vii. 52: “They answered and said unto him (i.e. Nicodemus), Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and see that out of Galilee ariseth no prophet ;” i. 46: “And Nathanael said unto him, Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.'
The objection thus variously stated admitted of a very simple but sufficient answer—that it was at Bethlehem Jesus was actually born. Yet this fact, so prominent in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, is neither recorded nor alluded to by this evangelist-evidently because it was so well known to his readers that it would have been superfluous to mention it.
iv. 44 :
1 vi. 35. 2 xx. 31.
THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES.”
THERE can be no doubt that the Book of Acts is from the same pen as the third Gospel. This is evident from the preface at the head of each book, and from the general similarity of their style and structure.
An attempt has been made, however, to raise a distinction, as regards authorship, between different portions of the book. There are certain passages whose genuineness has scarcely ever been disputed — those, namely, in which the writer uses the first person plural, as having been himself present on the occasions referred to. It is generally acknowledged that these passages are the genuine work of a companion of the apostle. But by a certain school of critics the rest of the book has a very different character assigned to it. According to them, the “we” passages formed the original notes of an eye-witness, which were made use of by a subsequent writer in the second century, as the nucleus of a history in great part fictitious, which was designed to bridge over the gulf between Paul and the rest of the apostles.2
Even if this theory could be proved to be correct, it
i From these passages it appears that the writer joined Paul's company at Troas (xvi. 10), that he accompanied him to Philippi, where he was left behind when Paul departed to another city, that after an interval of six or seven years he rejoined the apostle on the latter's return to Philippi, and accompanied him on his last journey to Jerusa
lem (xx.5—xxi. 18), and afterwards from Cæsarea to Rome (xxvii. I--xxviii. 16).
2 For a refutation of this “ Tübingen' theory of an irreconcilable antagonism between Paul as “the apostle of the Gentiles," and the original apostles, see (in this connection), Salmon's Introduction, 4th edition, pp. 330-8.
would not get rid of the supernatural element to which these critics have such an aversion, for in the passages thus admitted to be genuine there are statements that imply miraculous occurrences.1
But in reality there is no sufficient evidence to warrant such a view. With regard to external testimony, we find in some of the earliest Christian writers (Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, Justin Martyr, &c.), not a few expressions which seem to reproduce the language of this book-drawn not only from the “we” sections but from other parts of it as well. The impression thus made upon us in favour of the book as it now stands is confirmed by finding it in the Syriac and Old Latin Versions and also in the Muratorian Canon.
But it is the internal character of the book that affords the best refutation of the theory in question. A minute and critical examination of the account of Paul's missionary journeys before Luke joined him (Acts xiii., xiv.) has recently led an accomplished scholar and archæologist to the conclusion that it " is founded on, or perhaps actually incorporates, an account written down under the immediate influence of Paul himself.” 3 Moreover, with a few exceptions, due to the variety of sources, oral or written, from which the author drew, the book has a natural unity of diction and style which forbids us to assign it to more than one author, and its several parts are so interlaced by corre
1 xvi. 18 (Paul casting out the spirit of divination at Philippi). xvi. 26: “And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison-house were shaken : and immediately all the doors were opened ; and every one's bands were loosed." xxviii. 8, 9:
And it was so, that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery : unto whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laying his hands on him healed him. And
when this was done, the rest also which had diseases in the island came, and were cured."
2 E.g. in Clement's 1 Ep. xviii. there is a reproduction of Acts xiii. 22, in its combination of 1 Sam. xiii. 14 and Ps.
1xxxix. 20, its addition of the phrase
son of Jesse," and its allusion to the divine testimony. The resemblance is best seen by a comparison of the original in each case. Τί δε είπωμεν επί τω μεμαρτυρημένωΔαυείδ; προς δν είπεν ο θεός
Εύρον άνδρα κατά την καρδίαν μου, , Δανειδ τον του Ιεσσαί, εν ελέει αιωνίω έχρισα αυτόν.” (Cl. Ep. Ι. c. 18.)-και μεταστήσας αυτόν, ήγειρεν τον Δαυείδ αυτοίς εις βασιλέα, ώ και είπε μαρτυρήσας, Εύρος Δαυείδ τον του Ιεσσαί, άνδρα κατά την καρδίαν μου, δς ποιήσει Trávta Tà Delňuará mov. (Acts xiii. 22.)
3 Professor Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 6.
sponding observations and allusions as to confirm us in the belief that it forms one consistent whole.1
That it is a work of the first century is proved by the fact that it does not contain the slightest allusion to St. Paul's epistles. In the second century these epistles were so widely circulated that no historian giving a sketch of Paul's life-work could have passed them over in silence. But during the greater part of the period covered by the Book of Acts they were not yet in existence; and for some years they would be very little known except in the Churches to which they were addressed. There is no notice taken of them in the Book of Acts, nor any distinct echo of their teaching; while there is a remarkable absence of information on several important points mentioned in them, which would naturally have called for explanation had they been familiar to the writer of this book.
But although there is no sign of acquaintance with the epistles themselves, there are, as we shall see when we come to deal with these writings, many “undesigned coincidences" between statements contained in them and
i Cf. xxi. 8: “ And on the morrow we departed, and came unto Cæsarea : and entering into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we abode with him," with previous statements regarding Philip in (a) vi. 5: where he is mentioned as one of the
seven men chosen, and (6) viii. 40 “ But Philip was found at Azotus : and passing through he preached the gospel to all the cities, till he came to Cæsarea.” Cf. xxii. 20: And when the blood of Stephen thy witness was shed, I also was standing by, and consenting, and keeping the garments of them that slew him," with previous statements on this subject in (a) vii. 58: “And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul," and (b) viii. 1 :
And Saul was consenting unto his death."
Cf. i. 5: “For John indeed baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence,” with xi. 16: “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized
with water ; but ye shall be baptized
2 E.g. Gal. 1. 17 (with reference to Paul's visit to Arabia); Gal. ii. II (Paul's controversy with Cephas, when he “resisted him to the face, because he stood condemned"; 2 Cor. xi. 24 : “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one."