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Within document MK itself, as we have it and as it was used by Matthew, there is one indication only that the history as it developed affected the document, namely, that in the portion J. The impression made by this portion in all its parts is that it was added after the events. By its absence from Luke it is made probable that his recension of document MK did not contain this portion, for Luke uses all of the Markan paragraph except H, and makes some additions. Here, as so frequently elsewhere, the testimony points to a more primitive MK in the hands of Luke. Apparently Luke's document MK had felt no influence from the actual experiences of the siege; but the document that passed into the hands of Matthew had, it seems, already taken up an accretion in J. It is obvious that the relative dates of the gospels of Matthew and Luke are not determinable by a knowledge as to which of them used the more primitive document MK. The evangelists may have belonged to different regions.
To the external testimony offered by the absence of portion J from the gospel LK, there are to be added certain specific internal evidences, not covered by the general fact that the time standpoint of the portion J is post eventum. Document MK credits Jesus with referring to God as “the Lord”—“except the Lord had shortened the days.” This seems not to be after the manner of Jesus, for except in passages from the Old Testament, where the exigency of quotation demanded it, Jesus is nowhere else reported to have used “the Lord” as a designation of God. It is one of his notable contributions that he gave eternal currency to another mode of referring to God. By the time of the destruction of Jerusalem it had become customary to denominate the Christian community, actual and prospective, as “the elect.” The presence of this phrase in a verse originating after that event is, therefore, natural, if not inevitable, where a collective, designative term is needed. Does that account for its presence in this portion J? Or is the term to be attributed to Jesus ? It ought to be observed that this idea of election forms the staple of the thought in the document M accretion to the parable of the Great Supper or Marriage Feast, and is expressly formulated in the closing words, "For many are called, but few elected.” It seems that the external evidence, the time standpoint of the verse as a whole, and the minor but significant
1 See pp. 29, 30.
internal evidences point to the portion J as absent from the more primitive MK.
Attention may now be directed to a part of document MK which, though bearing no indication of having originated subsequent to the events, creates interpretative difficulties as it stands, the portions D and E. In a previous study these portions were under consideration, because paralleled in document P. Some questions were raised there as illustrative of the very real problems presented to the mind which would deal justly with the thought of D and E in this Markan context. Further study on this paragraph, it will be agreed, tends only to increase the sense of the incongruity of these portions to the scene here depicted. On the other hand, their close verbal relation to the same sayings in the parallel, document P $60, where they are entirely intelligible, certifies to their genuineness as sayings from Jesus. It ought to be observed that in the preceding portion C flight to the mountains is bidden. Flight is named as the one practicable move on the part of the disciples in the presence of impending disaster. But how can one flee who is bidden to remain fixed upon the housetop, or to hold his present place in the field, as against all attempts, by descent or return, to avert the immediate disaster? And why such extraordinary haste to recognize flight as useless ? A siege is not the work of a moment. It does not come as a flash of lightning while a man is away from his house in the field, while he strolls or reclines, all unwitting of war, upon the housetop. Flight, as precautionary, permits, by virtue of its motive, action less precipitate than that sketched here. May not a man at least gather clothing and sustenance for support in the mountain fastnesses? If to these questions there be offered the general objection that they fail to take account of oriental hyperbole of expression, and seek to press a literalism which is little to the point, it is to be answered that the evangelist Luke did not think so, for he found the sayings so incongruous to the situation depicted here that he rephrased them as practicable injunctions in his portions D and E.
The evidence seems to point to the conclusion that there is here another instance of genuine sayings of Jesus which have found their true context in document P but are misplaced in document MK.
* See pp. 48, 49.
Since, however, the theme of document P 860 is closely related to the theme of other portions of this Markan discourse, the question naturally emerges again whether P $60 may be regarded as originally spoken as a part of the final discourse on the future. If so, the presence of a part of P $60 as portions D and E of document MK is simply a displacement of sayings within a discourse, to another part of which they properly belong.
For an exhibit of the sayings of Jesus, in the final discourse, as to the destruction of Jerusalem, so far as these are attainable by reference to the document in its more original form, there must be dropped, it appears, from our present document MK the portions D, E, and J, the last because it was added, perhaps, after the event, D and E because they belong elsewhere among the genuine utterances of Jesus.
$6. THE RISE OF MESSIANIC CLAIMANTS
GOSPEL MT 24:23
DOCUMENT MK 13:21
DOCUMENT P $60
Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And then if any man shall say And they shall say to you, Lo, unto you, Lo, here is the Christ; there! Lo, here! go not away, nor or, Lo, there; believe it not. follow after them;
Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or, Here; believe it not.
Because the evangelist Luke had already taken up this saying, by his use of the document P, he omitted it when he came upon it in his document MK, in accordance with his most consistently heeded literary principle (Principle 2).
By these words with reference to those days of the future when persecution and the distresses of the war with the Romans should press hard upon his disciples, Jesus made it clear to his company that he foresaw the direction in which their hopes would turn, and felt strongly the necessity for vigorous words of warning against the pretensions to the fulfilment of those hopes which would come from the Zealot ranks. His disciples would long to see one of the days of the Son of man that thereby there might be made an end of their discomforts; messianic movements initiated in those days would profess that the time was at hand for the realization of such hopes; to all such seductive appeals the disciples must turn a deaf ear—"ye shall not see it."
See chap. iii.
Interest in the interrogation of history as to how far these forecasts of Jesus were fulfilled is much weakened by the knowledge that he did not speak of phenomena which had no basis in the past and present, and which were consequently to emerge new and startling in the future. Jesus did no more than predicate the prolongation of influences and tendencies vigorously at work in his own day. Their interest for him, so far as they would fashion the future, lay in their probable effect upon his own followers in the years immediately succeeding his personal departure. Such forecasts as Jesus made about the future rise of messianic claimants were well within the province of any acute observer of his time. Some brief review of the actual developments has, however, a very genuine interest. We have learned to expect from our source, Josephus, little that will give recognition to the part played by the messianic hope in the great struggle with Rome. But even his fixed purpose to keep this phase of the history in the background fails to suppress clear indications, here and there, of the inner life of the rebellion. It is to the point frequently to recall Josephus' summary statement of the cause of the great war:
But what most stirred them up to the war, was an ambiguous oracle that was found also in their sacred writings, that about that time one from their country
X Х should become ruler of the world. The Jews took this prediction to belong to themselves, and many wise men were thereby deceived in their judgment.” In the course of his narrative he is unable completely to eliminate specific references. These may profitably be followed in chronological order. That Josephus will not refer to the movements as messianic, nor to the leaders as pretended Messiahs is certain in advance. To do that would be to lay open to his Roman readers the inner religious secret of the revolt from Rome. That he is determined to avoid. Terms of opprobrium, judgments of disfavor and contempt, are necessarily the forms under which our historian will make record of these phenomena.
A. D. 45 OR 46. UNDER CUSPIUS FADUS Now when Fadus was administrator of Judea, a certain impostor, whose name was Theudas, urged a great part of the people to take their effects with them, and follow him to the river Jordan; for he told them that he was a prophet, and
that he would, by his own command, divide the river, and afford them an easy passage over it: and many were deluded by his words. This is doubtless the Theudas referred to in Acts 5:36 in the speech of Gamaliel. Notwithstanding the apparent historical confusion of Acts at this point, it does establish one fact clearly, namely, that, for the writer of this speech by Gamaliel, the movement under Theudas was regarded as a messianic uprising. Herein it is confirmatory of the obvious inference from Josephus.
A. D. 47 OR 48. UNDER TIBERIUS ALEXANDER Moreover the sons of that Judas of Galilee were now slain, who caused the people to revolt from the Romans, when Quirinius came to assess the estates of the Jews, as I have shown in a previous book. The names of these sons were James and Simon, and Alexander commanded them to be crucified.” This is, indeed, a scant notice, and inference must supply what is wanting. It may be assumed with some assurance that they were crucified because of activities and professions similar to those of their father. Judas of Galilee was the founder of the sect of the Zealots, and, as has been pointed out,3 is classified in Acts with Theudas as one of the claimants to messianic honors. His sons inherited his ambitions and aims. In this they were regarded as enemies to Roman supremacy, hence were crucified by the procurator.
A. D. 52-60. UNDER FELIX Now the affairs of the Jews grew worse and worse continually. For the country was again full of impostors who deluded the multitude. They were deceivers and deluders of the people, and under pretense of divine illumination were for innovations and changes, and prevailed on the multitude to act like madmen, and urged the multitude to follow them into the wilderness, and went before them into the wilderness, and pretended that they would exhibit manifest wonders and signs, that should be performed by the providence of God.4 This presents a vivid suggestion of the degree in which the messianic element had grown into direct personal claims under extreme apocalyptic forms by the time of Felix. That these uprisings do not represent simply a handful of rabid fanatics, who bore little relation to the main movements of the history is made abundantly manifest by the evidences in the following single instance, chosen from many, 1 Antiquities, xx, 5, $1.
3 Chap. ij. 2 Antiquities, xx, 5, $2.
4 Antiquities, xx, 8, 885, 6; War, ii, 13, 84.