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slowly-matured but deep-rooted confession of the doubting Thomas, "My Lord and my God" (xx. 28).
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 (i. 32, 40; iii. 5, 13, 24; vi. 62, 70; xx. 17), it takes for granted acquaintance with the earlier Gospels.1 The matter which it contains in common 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," 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 (xx. 31).
1 In keeping with this is the fact that 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."
1. Authorship.-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
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.1 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 eyewitness, which were made use of by a subsequent writer in the second century, as the nucleus of a history in
1 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 Jerusalem (xx. 5-xxi. 18), and afterwards from Cæsarea to Rome (xxvii. 1–xxviii. 16). Cf. pp. 33-36.
great part fictitious, which was designed to bridge over the gulf between Paul and the rest of the apostles.
Even if this theory could be proved to be correct, it 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 (xvi. 18, 26; xxviii. 8, 9).
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,1 Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, Justin Martyr, etc.) 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."2 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 corresponding observations and
1 E.g. in his 1 Ep. xviii. there is a reproduction of Acts xiii. 22, in its combination of 1 Sam. xiii. 14 and Ps. lxxxix. 20, its addition of the phrase "son of Jesse," and its allusion to the divine testimony. In the Greek the resemblance is even more striking.
2 Professor Ramsay, The Church in the Roman Empire, p. 6.
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allusions as to confirm us in the belief that it forms one consistent whole.1
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That it is a work of the first century may be inferred from 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 is there any 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 recognition had they been familiar to the writer of this book (e.g. Gal. i. 17; ii. 11; 2 Cor. xi. 24).
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 in the Book of Acts, which can only be accounted for by the fact that the writers, in both cases, were guided by a strict regard for truth.
It has also to be noted that while there is no sign of acquaintance with Paul's letters, there is in the speeches attributed to him an admitted resemblance to his style and diction, which is best accounted for by the writer's having been present at the delivery of the speeches, or
1 Cf. vi. 5, viii. 40, xxi. 8; vii. 58, viii. 1, xxii. 20; i. 5, xi. 16 (a saying of our Lord's being here twice quoted which does not occur in any of the four Gospels); x. 47, xv. 8; ix. 30, xi. 25, etc. In The Expositor of January 1894 Professor Ramsay says: "The more closely Acts is scrutinised, the more clearly do the unity and first-hand character of the narrative stand out."
having received an authentic report of them. It is interesting in this connection to observe that the speech which Paul delivered in Hebrew on the stairs of the castle in Jerusalem (xxii. 1-21), and which was no doubt translated into its present Greek form by Luke (judging from the number of Luke's favourite words to be found in it), is far less Pauline in character than the speech at Athens (xvii. 22-31), which was spoken in Greek, and was in all probability reported to Luke by Paul himself. We may add that this latter speech is not only Pauline in its diction, but reflects very plainly the apostle's training in the schools of Tarsus, where the Stoic philosophy was in great repute. We have a similar token of genuineness in the harmony between the speeches of Peter reported in this book and the first epistle written by that apostle.1
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Of the writer's accuracy in matters of fact abundant evidence can be adduced. In the titles which he gives to the magistrates of the various cities he has occasion to mention, he is supported by the testimony of ancient writings, coins, and inscriptions in a most remarkable manner; e.g. the name of politarchs ("rulers of the city"), which he applies to the magistrates of Thessalonica (xvii. 6), though otherwise unknown, has been discovered on an arch still in comparatively good preservation in the principal street of the city. His many allusions also to historical characters and conditions that are otherwise known to us, are almost invariably found to be true to fact; while the precision of his nautical
1 Cf. ii. 23, iv. 28, and 1 Peter i. 2, 20; also iv. 11 and 1 Peter ii.
2 Similar instances are found at xiii. 7; xvi. 12, 20; xviii. 12; xxviii. 7. See Salmon's Introduction, pp. 348, 349.
3 For example, Professor Ramsay remarks that the importance assigned to the south Galatian Churches, in chaps. xiii., xiv., “is historically true to the period 48-64 A.D. and not to later time.' Referring to the story of the tumult in the temple of Diana, the same