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primitive Christianity, in the elucidation of which he has deserved well of theology. He stands a head and shoulders above all our modern opponents of the miraculous. . . . If human power, human diligence and acuteness, could ever bring about the overthrow of our faith, this man would have accomplished it.”
Others of less “vigour and rigour” admit as genuine about one-third or even half the books of the New Testament. Dr. Davidson, for example, nine. Dr. Otto Pfleiderer, Professor of Theology at Jena, etc., puts forth the following in regard to the Pauline writings:"In addition to the four undisputed Epistles I hold to be genuine the First to the Thessalonians, the Epistle to Philemon, and that to the Philippians ; as unqualifiedly spurious, that to the Ephesians and the three pastoral Epistles; as spurious with qualifications, the Second to the Thessalonians, and that to the Colossians. In these two, and especially in the last, it appears to me as impossible to conceive that they are genuine in every part as that they are in every part spurious; and since this is so, scarcely any other conclusion remains for us than the view elaborated by Holtzmann in the most recent work on the Epistle to the Colossians and the Ephesians, that the Epistle to the Colossians which we have is founded on a genuine letter of Paul, retouched by a later hand. But I cannot agree with Holtzmann in thinking that the hand is that of the author of the Epistle to the Ephesians,”
“ that to the Colossians being a monument of a development of Paul's doctrine after the time of Paul. With the Epistle to the Hebrews and that to Barnabas, it marks the first phase of this development, determined chiefly by Alexandrian influence. The second phase of it is mainly represented by the Epistle to the Ephesians, the tendency of which towards Church union has already been foreshadowed in the First Epistle of Clement and the First of Peter." *
Turning now to the greatest champion of the old faith who has appeared in modern times, Dr. Augustus Neander, who was Professor of Theology in Berlin University, we find he doubts the Pauline origin of the First Epistle to Timothy. In his “ History of the Planting, etc., of the Christian Church by the Apostles" (Ryland's Translation, 1851), he says, in footnote to p. 339, "I cannot deny that when I come from reading other Pauline Epistles, I feel myself struck by the impression of something not Pauline."
The Apocalypse, he, like Luther, “cannot acknowledge as a work of the apostle ;” and the Second Epistle of Peter he unhesitatingly styles a forgery, and gives in a note to p. 376, “ The principal marks of the spuriousness of this Epistle.” †
Professor Plumptre would plead for at least a suspension of judgment in regard to this Epistle, for he points out resemblances in expression between it and the Gospel of Mark (who is, by many orthodox critics, supposed to have derived his information from Peter); only it is unfortunate for his argument that the expressions he quotes are not peculiar to Mark, being also found in Matthew.
* Introduction to “ Paulinism," p. 29.
† “ If there is any recent theologian from whom I have learnt more than from another, it is the German Neander.”—Professor (now Bishop) Lightfoot, May, 1875, in Contemporary Review.
To readers of the Boyle Lectures for 1863, and works of similar character, the notion of any book of the New Testament being forged may be a novel one, but let them turn to the above-mentioned work of Neander's, and they will find it stated, fol. 204, “Such forgeries were not at all uncommon in this century” (the second ?), “and the authors were very adroit in justifying such deceptions, for the purpose of giving currency to certain principles and opinions.”
The Second Epistle of Peter, though professing to have been written by an apostle, is of no use to us as evidence of the resurrection of Jesus, because of its uncertain authorship; we will therefore dismiss it from the present inquiry. As to the other disputed books, the Epistles of James and Jude, and the Apocalypse, they do not profess to have been written by apostles, by witnesses of the life and resurrection of Jesus, and therefore will not serve any purpose of evidence thereof, except to confirm the fact—which, however, does not need confirmation—that a belief in Jesus' resurrection existed before the year 70.
The three Epistles of John are also anonymous, and their apostolic origin is widely questioned ; and the nine professing the authority of Paul, besides that to the Hebrews (so often ascribed to him), being rejected by the Tübingen school of criticism, and, even if genuine, containing nothing more of import to our inquiry than is to be found in the fouradmitted Epistles, may also be dismissed from our consideration. And on similar grounds the Acts of the Apostles should be set aside from the ranks of the witnesses for Jesus.
* See also Strauss, in “Life of Jesus for the People," vol. i. pp. 148, 149.
Of the nineteen disputed books of the New Testament there now remains but the First Epistle of Peter to be noticed by us; and, besides the fact that its genuineness is questioned by many competent to judge, it may be doubted whether it affirms the bodily resurrection of Jesus at all, since, according to some translators, it states (iii. 18), that he was “made alive in spirit.” * It is not to be questioned that Peter did actually believe in a resurrection of Jesus from the dead, either bodily or only spiritual.
Turning now to the four Epistles of Paul before named, which, according to Baur,“ bear in themselves so incontestably the character of Pauline originality that it is not possible for critical doubt to be exercised upon them with any show of reason,” it must be admitted that they contain evidence not to be excluded from any inquiry concerning the reality of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead; but, as it is not certain that Paul had ever seen Jesus during his life, we shall reserve any notice of these till we treat of the events subsequent to the crucifixion.
* The revisers have“ being put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the spirit.”
We have next to consider what knowledge of Jesus is accessible to us in the four biographies termed "Gospels." Each of these affirms, amid other matters, the reality of the two great events, which, as we have said, require the confirmation of such weighty and uncontradicted evidence. We therefore, as before, commence by asking, who were the authors of these books?
We are informed by Paley,* “ The received author of the first was an original apostle and emissary of the religion. The received author of the second was an inhabitant of Jerusalem at the time, to whose house the apostles were wont to resort, and himself an attendant upon one of the most eminent of that number. The received author of the third was a stated companion and fellow-traveller of the most active of all the teachers of the religion, and in the course of his travels frequently in the society of the original apostles. The received author of the fourth, as well as of the first, was one of these apostles. No stronger evidence of the truth of a history can arise from the situation of the historian than what is here offered. The authors of all the histories lived at the time, and upon the spot. The authors of two of the histories were present at many of the scenes which they describe, eye-witnesses of the facts, ear-witnesses of the discourses." Thus Paley ; but since his day, what giant strides have been made in the field of Biblical criticism!
What eminent critic will now affirm that the first