Imagini ale paginilor

closer, in their details of phraseology, to the similar thoughts as expressed by the Old Testament prophets than to these thoughts as expressed by Jesus in the portions E and H of document P.

Of the scene portrayed by document MK, no aspect is so impressively vivid and intensely dramatic as that outlined in the portion D. But it is this portion, and it only, that has no counterpart in the document P report of these sayings. This is surely significant, for, in the comparison of gospels with document in this paragraph, it was found that the evangelist's additions to the document MK were, in the case of both Luke and Matthew, the most dramatic portions of their paragraphs, namely, the portion C of Luke and E of Matthew. From the testimony of document P $60, it seems that it must be concluded that the document MK is itself not free from additions of the same character. From whence came this most cataclysmic feature of the document MK account? The evidence seems to indicate that it is derived from the same source as is the phraseology in which MK clothes those parts of the paragraph which are paralleled in document P, that is, from the Old Testament prophets. Of no phase of the Day of Jehovah is there more frequent mention than of the celestial disturbances which should usher in that day.

Thus the opening terms of the portion D may be traced to Isa. 13:9, 1o:

Lo, the day of the Lord cometh. . . . . For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

The closing forecast of portion D is derivable from Isa. 34:4:

And all the powers of the heavens shall be melted .... and all the stars (constellations) shall fall.2 Other prophets than Isaiah had borne testimony to the spectacular

X Х nature of that Day. The terms of Amos are:

And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day.3

To the vision of Zephaniah it presented itself under similar forms:

1 See p. 170.

2 LXX =“τακήσονται πάσαι αι δυνάμεις των ουρανών .... και πάντα τα άστρα πεσείται.

3 Amos 8:9.

The great day of the Lord is near, it is near and hasteth greatly .... That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of the trumpet and alarm.' More vivid in detail and dramatic in general impression are the scenes which the prophetic spirit of Joel grasped and delineated:

The day of the Lord cometh, for it is nigh at hand: a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness . . . . the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining . . . . for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it ??

Most striking among the portrayals is that of Joel 2:30, 31:

And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

In a community that believed itself to be experiencing the fulfilment of the prophecy of Joel 2:28, 29, it was inevitable that vigorous hope should be taken from that experience, and that it should frame for itself, as a central belief, the faith that the remainder of the prophecy, Joel 2:30, 31, was on the verge of realization. That the former was the case with the early Christians is testified by Acts 2:1-36; that the latter was the resultant is evident from the large place given this hope in the early apostolic age. With the authentic words from Jesus of document P 360 concerning “the day” as a starting-point, with the experience of finding large areas of prophecy about “the last days”3 richly fulfilled in the present, with that interpretation of Joel which regarded the events of Joel 2:28, 29 as immediately preceding those of Joel 2:30, 31, is it not both natural and, in some measure, justifiable that they freely embody Old Testament forecasts in their growing tradition of the words of Jesus about the future? These are probably not regarded by them as conveying a different body of ideas; they are likely not even thought of as introducing minor essential modifications; they are believed rather to report the ideas of Jesus, which they naturally consider as grounded in, and originating from, Old Testament prophecy. Moreover, this accretion of Old Testament phrasing must be regarded as a gradual and prolonged process, wrought out in an oral tradition; it is surely not the outcome of a single sitting at manuscript reproduction of Jesus' words. Zeph. 1:14-16.

Joel 2:1, 2, 10, II.


3 Acts 2:17.

It has been pointed out that the statement about the rise of messianic claimants in portion B of document MK is given such a chronological setting in that document that there are narrow limits of time for their activity. This is effected by the “And then” of portion B, which means after the destruction of Jerusalem, and by the “But in those days, after that tribulation" of portion C. But it is to be observed that the portion C, which brings the day of the Son of man into close sequence with the destruction of Jerusalem, is entirely absent from the document P record of these sayings. In the document P account there is no statement of any kind as to the sequence of the rise of messianic claimants and the day of the Son of man, or, indeed, of the time relation of “the day” to any other event or events. The single chronological note of P goo is that in the portion A in the words, “And ye shall not see it.” Instead of supplying,' as does document MK, an assurance to the disciples that they may look for “the day” to follow speedily upon “that tribulation,” the document P warns them that all desire to see “the day” is vain and destined to disappointment—"ye shall not see it.”

Does the acceptance of the document P $60 report of the sayings of Jesus about the day of the Son of man, because of the weighty external and internal evidences of its greater originality as compared with document MK, leave the discourse without any indication as to the time of the two great events named in the discourse, the destruction of Jerusalem and the day of the Son of man? The paragraph that follows in document MK makes a clear answer to that important question.


GOSPEL MT 24:32-36
DOCUMENT MK 13:28-32

GOSPEL LK 21:29-33 A Now from the fig tree learn A Now from the fig tree learn A And he spake to them a paraher parable: when her branch her parable: when her branch ble: Behold the fig tree, and all is now become tender, and put. is now become tender, and put the trees: when they now shoot teth forth its leaves, ye know teth forth its leaves, ye know that forth, ye see it and know of your that the summer is nigh; even so the summer is nigh; even so ye own selves that the summer is ye also, when ye see all these also, when ye see these things now nigh. Even so ye also, things, know ye that it is nigh, coming to pass, know ye that it when ye see these things coming even at the doors. Verily I say is nigh, even at the doors. Verily to pass, know ye that the kingunto you, This generation shall I say unto you, This generation dom of God is nigh. Verily I not pass away, till all these things shall not pass away, until all say unto you, This generation be accomplished. Heaven and these things be accomplished. shall not pass away, till all things earth shall pass away, but my

Heaven and earth shall pass be accomplished. Heaven and words shall not pass away.

away: but my words shall not earth shall pass away: but my pass away.

words shall not pass away. B

But of B

But of that day or that day and hour knoweth no that hour knoweth no one, not one, not even the angels of even the angels in heaven, neither heaven, neither the Son, but the the Son, but the Father. Father only.

In no other paragraph of this discourse does Matthew follow his document MK so closely in verbal details as in that above. No significant divergence is observable in the portion A. For his document MK phrase "that day or that hour" in portion B, Matthew substitutes “that day and hour.” By this apparently unimportant modification, the evangelist obscures more completely that application of portion B to the day of the Son of man which already had suffered partial obscuration in document MK by the probable addition of the words or that hour." The original utterance of Jesus seems to have been, “But of that day knoweth no one, etc.,” the reference being to the day of the Son of man of which he had just been speaking. Had the original intention of the speaker been to say that the events referred to in portion A were to fall within the present generation, but that the precise day of their coming could not be forecast by himself or even by angels, his language more naturally would have been, “But of the day or the hour knoweth no one.” On the other hand, had the wish been to distinguish in time between all the other events he had forecast and the day of the Son of man itself, the language could hardly have been other than that suggested—“But of that day knoweth no one.” For the phrase of Jesus from first to last in the preceding paragraph, P $60, is “the day of the Son of man,” not "the coming (Trapovo la) of the Son of man,” or “the end,” or “the consummation of the aeon," or "the kingdom of God.” It seems evident that in this paragraph on the time of the events Jesus distinguished between the destruction of Jerusalem and the day of the Son of man by affirming that the former would be realized within the generation, but that the time of the latter was unknown to any but the Father himself. That Jesus had some confidence, however, that "the day” would not fall within that near future in which his disciples would ardently desire it seems asserted by him in his saying of the previous paragraph-"ye shall not see it.”

That the obscuration of the distinction apparently intended here by Jesus between the time of the two events became more and more complete as the tradition of his words was handled and interpreted is evidenced not only by the change of phrasing made by Matthew in the portion B, but more strikingly in the editorial work of the evangelist Luke in portion A. There Luke substituted for the simple

“it is nigh” the specific “the kingdom of God is nigh,” by which he made it impossible to interpret the portion A in any other sense than as applying to the whole body of events previously mentioned by Jesus, including the day of the Son of man. This substitution by Luke makes clear also that in his time the phrase "the kingdom of God” had come to be regarded as meaning for Jesus the same as "the day of the Son of man.” But since Jesus nowhere either in the document MK report of this discourse or in those portions of it which are now believed to be found in document P uses the term “kingdom * of God” or in any way indicates that he is defining his conception of the kingdom, we may not rightly follow Luke in his insertion of this most important phrase of Jesus in the present discourse. Because Jesus does not use here the term “kingdom of God,” we may not argue therefrom that he certainly is not defining here the future of the kingdom, for he may define the kingdom without naming it. But, on the other hand, it would be quite as arbitrary to assume from this discourse that “day of the Son of man” is with Jesus the synonym for “kingdom of God.” For a sound deduction, account must be taken of a larger area of the teaching of Jesus about the future, especially that which deals explicitly and unmistakably with the future of “the kingdom of God.”.

The motive of Luke in wholly omitting the portion B of his document MK may reasonably be found in his judgment that this saying set limits to the knowledge possessed by Jesus which did not accord with that estimate of the person and dignity of Jesus which the Christian community cherished in the time or in the circle of Luke.

On the basis of the critical results reached to the present in the examination of the final discourse on the future, there may now be reconstructed tentatively those paragraphs which have come under consideration.


And as he went forth out of the temple, one of his disciples saith unto him, Master, behold, what manner of stones and what manner of buildings! And Jesus said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings ? there shall not be left here one stone upon

another, which shall not be thrown down. 1 See pp. 301-27. The appearance of the phrase "kingdom of God” in a parable which Matthew inserts in this discourse from his document M 824 is considered fully on pp. 200-2.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »